John & Yoko And The Plastic Ono Band With The Harlem Community Choir – “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)”

Rather than sing about callow subjects such as snow, reindeer or mistletoe, in “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” John Lennon manages to capture the teachings of Christ, whose life and death we supposedly celebrate in this season of gluttony and consumerism.

So this is Christmas
and what have you done
another year over
a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
the near and the dear ones
the old and the young.

A very Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year
let’s hope it’s a good one
without any fear

And so this is Christmas (war is over…)
for weak and for strong (…if you want it)
the rich and the poor ones
the road is so long

From Wikipedia:

The lyric is based on a campaign in late 1969 by Lennon and Ono, who rented billboards and posters in eleven cities around the world that read: “WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas from John and Yoko.”

The cities included New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Rome, Athens, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Helsinki. At the time of the song’s release, the US was deeply entrenched in the unpopular Vietnam War.

The line “War is over, if you want it, war is over, now!”, as sung by the background vocals, was taken directly from the billboards.

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