Approaching 40: We are the world

That same school year that saw me in the darkness of seventh grade also saw a number of musicians come together as part of USA for Africa. “We Are the World” is another iconic song of the mid-80s and an equally iconic song for my life in seventh grade. Unlike “Don’t You Forget About Me”, this song is associated with more positive memories.

When I hear this song, I am mostly reminded of the times I’d spend at friend’s houses. It didn’t really matter what we were doing: playing Ultima III; watching movies; just hanging out. It was nice just to be on my own, away from school, to not have to think about homework or tests that were coming up next week.

Then, too, the video for the song was an equally big deal and for a while, it seemed as if it was just about the only video played. I could turn on the TV at any given moment and somewhere, that video would be playing (much like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video some years earlier).

The combination of these two songs, “Don’t You Forget About Me” and “We Are the World” still provide a strong emotional one-two punch. It is difficult for me to listen to them back-to-back (as I have just done, in writing these posts).

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.