If you’re anywhere near the neighborhood of 40, this Christmas video needs no introduction, but to the younger set, here’s some valuable back story on a rather historic release:

Do They Know It’s Christmas is a song written by Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and Midge Ure (Ultravox) in 1984 and performed by star-studded ensemble, Band Aid, to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Influential artists tolend their klout included Bono and Adam Clayton (U2), Phil Collins (Genesis), Paul McCartney, Sting, Spandau Ballet, Chris Cross (Ultravox), Duran Duran, Paul Weller (The Style Council / The Jam), Boy George (Culture Club), and Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood).

It went on to become the second-biggest selling single in UK Singles Chart history — surpassed over a decade later by Elton John’s Candle in the Wind 1997 — and sold a hugely-impressive one million copies in the first week of its release alone.

The first philanthropically-minded music initiative of its kind, Band Aid spawned a multitude of  like projects in quick succession, such as Live Aid (1985), Farm Aid (1985), Artists United Against Apartheid (1985) Band Aid II (1989), then later, Band Aid 20 (2004)  and Live 8 (2005).

(And NO, there won’t EVER BE snow in Africa, but when it comes to all things Christmas, we need to think figuratively, folks).

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