For this post, I would like to take you on a kind of virtual journey. Specifically, I will share a series of videos that show the world connecting through music, proof that music has a special universality. Take the trip, I think you will enjoy the ride.
In the best of times, much less the worst, Stand By Me is just a fabulous song. There are some songs from which you just don’t tire. This YouTube video is now past 8 million views and going strong — not bad for 5 months old (posted November 2008).
If you like this one, you might like the others from this series, featuring many of the same performers: One World or One Love. NB The Playing for Change website behind this product is changing on Uncle Sam’s tax date 2009.
If you cast your memory back to the days of the mid 1980s and Band Aid, Live Aid and We are the World… how the movement might have been magnified… So, now, if you are still needing a pick me up, remember We Are the World? This particular posting also has 8 million views funnily enough, posted in 2005, although I note that there are plenty of other versions, meaning that there needs to a kind of video consolidator system … between all the different online video!. This video below was created in 1985 by USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa). As a reminder, there was a magnificent cast of 45 artists involved. It is a joy to revisit.
And, to pursue the tour of ‘world music’, I give a flashback to Band Aid founded in 1984 with this “Do They Know it’s Christmas” clip (below is a better version) produced by Bob Geldof and his team. This particular YouTube clip has nearly 6 million views today — it is a substantially better production than the rambling shambles performed on stage in live in 1985. But, it’s fun to remember that this “old fashioned” media managed to reach 2 billion people back then.
That said, my favourite clip of the 1985 Live Aid show comes from U2 with Bad (just 1.2 million views so far!). The one I choose to embed, however, is also from U2, the more uplifting “It’s a Beautiful Day” (below), some twenty years later (July 2005) at Live 8, viewed by some 3 billion people, a 50% improvement over 1985. This YouTube clip now has over 5 million views.
But, a musical world tour would be missing if I didn’t also tip my [blog] hat to Matt… 20 million views and counting. So, from 2008, “Where in the World is Matt”…?
Some of you may be aware of my statement that there are actually two questions to which I have always found the answer yes 100% of the time, universal truths as it were. Yes, the bad news: death comes to us all. The good news, we all love music. If you are ever stuck in a dinner party conversation, there is always the question: “so, do you like music?” Or, a little more open, “what sort of music do you like?” My father’s line is probably a little more crafty: “what are your hobbies?” Anyway, music has a way of touching people around the world. No wonder it is a sensitive topic on the internet. Music is of course a great purveyor of messages, political, social or personal. I add as a final resource, an article produced by the Guardian a couple of weeks ago: Politics and Protest: 1000 songs, part of a series of 1000 songs everyone must hear… about or for love, heartbreak, sex and parties.
I hope you enjoyed the journey. Please let me know which was your favourite video and if you have any other suggestions.