Yusuf Islam’s downloadable song “The Day The World Gets ‘Round” is now available. Although the US store for iTunes doesn’t have it up yet (probably tomorrow with the other new releases on Tuesday), Jamal Records has it available both for Europe and Internationally. Bassist Klaus Voorman is getting co-billing on the digital release, as the song was originally recorded for Klaus’ upcoming album The Sideman’s Journey.
YusufIslam.com also has a 30-second sound clip in the 100 I Dream section of the site (free account required). If you don’t have an account (although you should, it’s free and you get access to lots of extra goodies), the same clip can be heard on Jamal Records here.
“This is a fantastically generous act and we hope to reach new audiences in bringing a message of hope at a time when Gaza so badly needs it,” said Christopher Gunness, an UNRWA spokesman.
Not everyone is covering it, though. It turns out the BBC has decided to not cover a fundraising event to raise money for children suffering in Gaza. Yusuf was among the celebrities at the event. The BBC’s decision has led to very vocal protests from BBC employees and associates.
Speaking of protesting, FOX News reported today that an Israeli official is protesting Yusuf’s fundraising efforts for not including Israel’s children.
“It is good Mr. Islam is interested in helping the children of Gaza,” David Saranga, spokesman for the Consulate General of Israel in New York, said in a statement. “The children on the other side of the border should not be forgotten, as well, and it would have been nice for their situation to also be considered when Mr. Islam decided on the dedication of the song.”
“Children are children are children, regardless of where they live,” Saranga’s statement continued. “It is about time that someone saves the children of Gaza from their leaders, Hamas.”
UNRWA Senior Liaison Officer Saahir Lone said the agency “strongly agrees” that Palestinian and Israeli children are both victims of the conflict. He did not say whether the agency approached Islam to record the song, or if the recording was Islam’s idea. He also declined to say whether any other musicians were considered.
“And both deserve to be protected from its consequences,” Lone said in a statement. “As UNRWA has responsibilities to assist the refugee population of Gaza, it seeks financial support and in that spirit has welcomed the proceeds from Yusuf Islam’s song.”
UPDATE: As of January 30, the US store of iTunes now has the song available for purchase.