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Follow the Melody #2: That Other 80s Song about Africa (or The Kony 2012 of 1984)


3 months agoSteemit2 min read

To the extent that “the past is a foreign country”, the 1980s is a region known for the strangeness of its local customs. A prime example of this is the time (1984-1985) that a great many people decided that the best way to get food to Ethiopian famine victims was by singing a song about it.

Over time, this musical crusade has come to be viewed with cynicism. It has become a case study in the unintended consequences of charitable actions. Aside from this, I find it fascinating to examine the original good intentions, as presented in this promotional documentary:

The following year, a cadre of American musicians made a similar piece that is more well remembered (at least, here in the USA):

What is much less known is that the trend extended outside of the Anglosphere, with imitators in The Federal Republic of (i.e. “West”) Germany (hitting the emotional point with characteristic German efficiency)...

Austria (incorporating a pronounced African musical motif)...

and Yugoslavia (I really don't know what to say about this one).

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