Sunday, February 14, 2010

It just can't be

How old are you?

Never mind, that's a rude question.

Are you old enough to remember 25 years ago?


25 years ago, I was--25 years younger. And, if memory serves there was a great famine that affected most of the continent of Africa. To help those poor people, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie** wrote a song called We are the World. They,and producer Quincy Jones gathered together some of the most popular recording artists of the time. Remember Cyndi Lauper? Tina Turner? Kenny Loggins? Bruce Springstein? And dozens of others. The song became hugely popular, raised tons of money and spawned other songs and concerts that raised money for various causes (Farmaid, anyone?)

You'd have to be living under a rock to not know that Michael Jackson is no longer with us. But his partners Richie and Jones had decided to do 25th anniversary video of We are the World. They were scheduled to do so on January 28, 2010. In the interim the earthquake in Haiti happened causing unspeakable loss of life and damage to that already poverty-stricken country.

And so was born We are the World 25 for Haiti.

And I love it.

There are lots of performers in the video. A number of them I don't know. But you'll be surprised (and my kids were, too) that besides recognizing Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennet, Celine Dion and Natalie Cole, I also recognized Jennifer Hudson, Pink, Usher, Fergie, LL Cool J, and Snoop Dogg, among others. Oh yes, and Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. (And I actually know who Lady Gaga is even though she wasn't in the video).

My two favorite parts of the video were when they used the footage from the old version of Michael Jackson singing the refrain; he is joined by his sister Janet. And toward the end of the video Jamie Foxx does his Stevie Wonder imitation (Wonder was also in the original video).

All that being said, it's weird to me that I remember so vividly (well, more or less) that time in my life when the first version was so popular. Since that time, I got my bachelor's, two+ master's, got married, bought a house, had three children, developed my career, dealt with a couple of medical and financial crises, sold my house, moved to Israel, bought another one.

I can't fathom all of this. I still feel like that--very young woman of 25 years ago. I don't know enough to have been through all of that.

It's all happening to fast.

Yeah, well, in the meantime, here's the new video. Enjoy it, let the memories wash over you. Two points for those of you who can identify and Snoop Dogg. And Enrique Iglesias.

Haveil Havalim is up at Batya's place. Check it out.

**Please accept my apologies for not linking all these celebrities. If you google them, you'll find plenty of information.


Fern Chasida said...

i'm very impressed - i watched the video last night and barely knew who anyone was. i did recognize jennifer hudson, miley cyrus, and the jonas brothers but had no idea who most of the "newcomers" were. but i've never been good about knowing names of singers. i also remember the first time around though not that vividly (i am younger than you, after all)

Karen said...

You bought a new house? I only knew you were looking.
Wishing you lots of mazel in your new place.

SuperRaizy said...

I like the new version of the song, even the rap part in the middle.
I don't know what Vince Vaughn (a non-singing actor) is doing in this video. But then again, I never understood what Dan Ackroyd was doing in the original one either.

Batya said...

Thanks for the HH mention!

I guess I'm quite a bit older, because all my kids were born 25 years ago. We're about to celebrate our 40th! And then 40 years in Israel.

Baila said...

Yeah, Fern, your barely out of your teens.

Karen, we did. We moven in the summer. You'll have to come see it.

I know, SR. Those people probably heard about it and begged to get in. And how did they decide who gets solos and who not? That Jennifer Hudson has a powerhouse voice, she deserved hers.

Batya, wishing you much Mazal and many more celebrations!

Jack Steiner said...

Jeff Bridges is in this one too. Pretty crazy.

Lisa said...

i am in my mid 20s and i recognized more people in the original song than in the newer version... not sure what it says about me. kenny rogers and willie nelson are much more exciting to me than miley cyrus

im not a huge fan of the newer version... i wish they had done like elton john and "candle in the wind" and at least changed more lyrics. but if it helps its a good thing.

Robin said...

It was scary how few people I recognized, and I'm in serious denial that it's been 25 years since the original version. How can that possibly be? When did I get old enough for that to happen?

In any case, I do think it came out very well and I hope it makes a bundle and does a lot of good.

kathleen said...

I liked the new version but there were a lot of singers that I didn't recognize! I do remember when the original came out and I too am also in denial that it has been 25 years! No way!
Mazel Tov on your new house!

Anonymous said...

i can't believe it has been 25 years! I love this version, barbara, celine, jennifer hudson, what powerhouses!

Hasya Ya'ara said...

You impress me. I only knew about 3 or 4 people in the newer version.

I was in high school during the first version. I would still be able to name all of those people, if I saw them. Well, maybe I could. My memories not quite like it used to be.

Leah Goodman said...

1st version came out when I was in 1st grade.
since I'm 19, it doesn't make sense that it's been 25 years since then. Or that I have 2 kids.