You might notice a different sort of soundtrack in the Super Bowl this year. The Super Bowl audience might be one of the best candidates out there to hear Arcade Fire's Wake Up.
The Montreal-based band has licensed the NFL to use its song during the Super Bowl to raise money for Partners in Health, a medical organization in Haiti. Undeniably inspiring without even listening to the lyrics (which are about how our hearts get colder as we get older, how we "turn every good thing to rust" and how you can't see where you're going when your lightning bolts are "a-glowin") - Wake Up was also used in the trailer for "Where the Wild Things Are."
It seems appropriate that the song should play to a privileged crowd of Americans watching the climax of one of the country's favorite sports as hundreds of thousands of people suffer in a poverty-strickened country devastated by a massive earthquake. Arcade Fire is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the Super Bowl's use of the song to Partners in Health, which is mobilizing its Haitian clinics outside of Port-au-Prince to help quake victims.
Arcade Fire's Regine Chassagne is most touched by the crisis in Haiti, the native land of her family (her parents escaped the country and several of her aunts, uncles and cousins were killed before the democratic government took over a couple of decades ago). Some may be familiar with her connection to the country from the song Haiti, which recounts the threat of death and violence that her parents alluded from the band's first full-length album, Funeral. Chassagne recently wrote a powerful editorial for The Guardian, describing how the recent earthquake has affected her.
So, if you're watching the Super Bowl, listen to Wake Up. and take a moment to think about how lucky you are to be in a comfortable, wealthy country and remember that not everybody in the world is so lucky. Also, if your heart's been squeezed at all from what you've read, seen or heard about the state of things in Haiti and you've considered making a donation but are uncertain your money will make it to the right people and place, Partners in Health is a reliable way to go. Arcade Fire has been helping raise funds for the organization for the last three years.