Australian singles charts:
Happy Xmas (War is Over) entered the Kent charts on 18 December 1972 and peaked at #9. The song was #80 on the Top 100 of 1973.
John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Phil Spector, John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Record label of Australian release:
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) was the culmination of more than two years of peace activism undertaken by John Lennon and Yoko Ono that began with the bed-ins they convened in March and May 1969, the first of which took place during their honeymoon. The song’s direct antecedent was an international multimedia campaign launched by the couple in December 1969 – at the height of the counterculture movement and its protests against America’s involvement in the Vietnam War – that primarily consisted of renting billboard space in 12 major cities around the world for the display of black-and-white posters that declared “WAR IS OVER! If You Want It – Happy Christmas from John & Yoko”.
Read more: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Xmas_(War_Is_Over)
This is a very unusual Christmas song. Instead of evoking sleigh bells and mistletoe, it asks us to think about those who live in fear, and collectively bring about the end of war. The call to action is the refrain “war is over, if you want it.”
It’s an esoteric but not unfounded concept that John Lennon and Yoko Ono also put forth in Imagine: If enough people want something to happen, it will. So the idea was to get us to actively desire peace, which could bring about the end of war.
Read more: www.songfacts.com/facts/john-lennon/happy-xmas-war-is-over
This song is also on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 70s
After you’ve listened to this song, click HERE to pick another one!
BONUS CLIP: PEACE ON EARTH AT CHRISTMAS
John and Yoko’s peace activism: War is over (if you want it)
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