Belittling charity isn’t a cast-iron guarantee of popularity.
In fact, I’d go as far to say that there’s not much to be gained in making fun of charity.
There’s no money in it, it won’t increase your standing in the community (no-one ever got an MBE for making fun of Cancer Research), and should you become the victim of something terrible, those who would usually be the first to help – whether by donating money, a vital organ, or by badgering their colleagues to support them in their latest self-aggrandising Herculean feat of running/cycling/skydiving/farting the alphabet – would be well within their rights to thumb their noses, turn on their heels and leave you to wallow in your misery.
That said, this charity record that Simon Cowell’s organising – doesn’t it sound like a bag of toss?
To this end, he’s ruining the great efforts of the British people in helping the Haitian earthquake victims (£38m raised so far in a recession), by guilting them into buying what sounds like the worst record ever.
He’s organising a star-stunted cover of REM’s weepalong classic Everybody Hurts. Not a bad song, by any means. But let’s see who he’s managed to rope in so far…
Well, there’s Rod Stewart. He’s a big name. And Michael Buble. Then there’s JLS and Leona Lewis (how on earth did he manage to get them?) And, ummm, that’s it.
Apparently Coldplay, Robbie Williams and Paul McCartney have been approached. More likely to appear are those who have expressed an interest – uber-chinned nice guy Will Young, victorious X-Factor automo-gonk Joe McElderry and single-mother-text-threatening gormoloids NDubz.
Anyone who’s anyone has already donated to Emily Eavis’s rock memorabilia auction (Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Arctic Monkeys, Chemical Brothers, Pearl Jam, etc) or signed up to George Clooney’s massive US telethon (Bono and The Edge, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J Blige, etc).
So Simon is left with nothing more than pop detritus with which to produce a charity smash.
Paul McCartney gave permission for Let It Be to be used, but wisely only contributed vocals from the original 1970 recording sessions. The rest was left to the likes of Paul King, Pepsi and Shirlie, Mel and Kim, Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot, Jaki Graham and the justifiably-forgotten Taffy. If you are under the age of 30, you really shouldn’t know who any of these people are.
The highlight of Ferry Aid was undoubtedly the final chorus, honked by a haphazardly-assembled choir including Alvin Stardust, Doctor and the Medics, Go West, Bucks Fizz, The Nolan Sisters, Mandy Smith and Su Pollard (I’m genuinely not making this up).
Against all odds, and showing that the British public will support almost anything in the name of charity, it stayed at number one for 3 weeks and shifted just under half a million copies.
Will Cowell’s attempt do the same? Probably. People are generally quite nice and willing to put their hands in their pockets for a good cause. But wouldn’t we all be better off if Cowell (estimated worth £112m) just handed over £3m of his own money and pissed off for a bit?
For anyone who’s bothered to read this far, I can provide an exclusive peek at the wish list for the song’s running order, showing who will be taking each line…
(Leona Lewis) When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
(Michael Buble) When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on
(Rod Stewart) Don’t let yourself go, ’cause everybody cries
(Sisqo) And everybody hurts sometimes
(Scouting For Girls) Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it’s time to sing along
(JLS) When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
(Eamonn Holmes) If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
(Sir Trevor McDonald) When you think you’ve had too much of this life, well hang on
(Simon Weston) ’Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
(The Go Compare Ad Man) Everybody hurts.
(Abu Hamza) Don’t throw your hand. Oh, no. Don’t throw your hand
(Loose Women) If you feel like you’re alone, no, no, no, you are not alone
(Sir Fred Goodwin) If you’re on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
(Jackiey Budden) When you think you’ve had too much of this life to hang on
(Amanda Holden) Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
(Louis Walsh) Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
(Simon Cowell & Sinitta) And everybody hurts sometimes.
(Chorus comprised of the above plus Neil Tennant, David Tennant, Princess Superstar, Davina McCall, Nicholas Van Hoogstraaten, Lemar, Ricky Hatton, Elin Nordegen, Flat Eric, Eric Bristow, Bernie Eccleston and Bernie Madoff)
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts. You are not alone
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