We Are the World, which was released on March 7, 1985 as a charity single, was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We Are the World. The aim of the song is to appeal to the world to help African people who are starving. When talked about this song, I have to mention an non-profit organization which called United Support of Artists for Africa(USA for Africa). At that time, this was a new organization which would relieve the starving people in Africa. With the urge of donation and influences, a famous entertainer and social activist Harry Belafonte was looking for an opportunity that having a song recorded by most famous artists in the musics industry. Due to Michael Jackson just released his most successful commercially album Thriller, Belafonte found him and made the whole thing done through a telephone call.
The title “We Are the World” was determined by Michael Jackson himself when he expressed ideas that he not just wanted to sing this song but to participate in writing this song. The process of composing this song was amazing because of Richie and Jackson completed the lyrics and melody of “We Are the World” within two and a half hours, just one night before the song’s first recording. Though the time it spends may sound like it will not be a good one, it is indeed the most successful charity single which won many musical awards such as GRAMMY. Personally, the most part of this song was accomplished by Michael Jackson and he really devoted to his whole life as a great philanthropist and singer.
Here is the lyric:
Lionel Richie & Stevie Wonder: When the world must come together as one
Stevie Wonder: There are people dying
Paul Simon: Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
Paul Simon/Kenny Rogers: The greatest gift of all
Kenny Rogers: We can’t go on pretending day by day
James Ingram: That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
Tina Turner: We’re all a part of God’s great big family
Billy Joel: And the truth
Tina Turner/Billy Joel: You know love is all we need
Michael Jackson: We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving
Diana Ross: There’s a choice we’re making we’re saving our own lives
Michael Jackson/Diana Ross: It’s true we’ll make a better day just you and me
The words are simple but touching which is perfectly accord with its melody- slow and soft. When you listen to this song, you feel that this is full of sadness which is surrounded with a atmosphere of hopeful and inspiring. It conveys a simple but unreachable goal- world together as one, but this wish is through over the song itself involving in every singer’s voice. Indeed, you can feel the emotion of African people who are seeking their lives by hardships and the emotion of world determines to save and help them at most. Thus, this song has further influence on the earthquake of Haiti, which creates a new edition of “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”.
In my memory, my father had me listen to this song in summer. Though I was a kid then I can’t follow the words, I found its melody is beautiful. When I grew up I became to know much about the information behind this song. It just reminded of that I must have been lucky to have the day I lived through. It just jumped to my mind that a famous sentence “Whenever you feel like criticizing people just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantage s that you’ve had” which is from “The Great Gatsby”. This song can bring more effect on us that it appears, it gives a sign that the world is a unite which should assistant each other. Initially I’m moved by this song, then I’m attracted by Michael Jackson’s actions.It gives me the sense that cherish what you have now and help people who don’t have yet.