December 1971 – Happy Xmas (War is Over)

December 1970 – a popular holiday song this time of year – Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John & Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band With The Harlem Community Choir

John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote this in their New York City hotel room and recorded it during the evening of October 28 and into the morning of the 29th, 1971 at the Record Plant in New York.

Interesting facts about Happy Xmas (War is Over) & John & Yoko –

John and Yoko spent a lot of time in the late ’60s and early ’70s working to promote peace. In 1969, they put up billboard advertisements in major cities around the world that said, “War is over! (If you want it).” Two years later this slogan became the basis for this song when Lennon decided to make a Christmas record with an anti-war message.

The children’s voices are the Harlem Community Choir, who were brought in to sing on this track. They are credited on the single along with Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band.

At the beginning of the song, two whispers can be heard. Yoko whispers: “Happy Christmas, Kyoko” (Kyoko Chan Cox is Yoko’s daughter with Anthony Cox) and John whispers: “Happy Christmas, Julian” (John’s son with Cynthia).

Lennon was shot and killed less than three weeks before Christmas in 1980. The song was re-released in the UK on December 20th of that year.

Though now a Christmas standard, Lennon originally penned this as a protest song about the Vietnam War, and the idea “that we’re just as responsible as the man who pushes the button. As long as people imagine that somebody’s doing it to them and that they have no control, then they have no control.”

This information was provided by Songfacts.com

 

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