THE GREATEST OF ALL CHRISTMAS TUNES #2: Happy Xmas (War Is Over)- John Lennon & Yoko Ono (1971)


lennon and yoko santa claus“And so this is Christmas…”  Perhaps more than any other song on this list, LennOno’s song feels the most like a traditional Christmas song, even if it busts tradition in the head, splits its skull, and lets brains slide on the carpet.  I mean, how do you combine season’s greetings with protest?  How do you sing about a hopeful time of year, the end of war, and the threat of a new one coming in the future?

Simple.

You be John Lennon, a musical genius.

Lennon was one of the few protest rock and rollers of the 1970s who really felt like the actions of one person could make a difference, in the tradition of Gandhi and MLK—by the time the 1960s were ending, the world was becoming increasingly cynical and people were mattering less than principles, money more than ideals.

And in a way, Christmas had become the same: Presents and status mattering more than a spirit of giving and a celebration of God’s gifts to mankind.  And incidentally, Lennon was an athiest.  Yet he released one of the kindest and most hopeful original Christmas songs of all time…

Interesting bit of trivia: Both Ono and May Pang, a former lover of John Lennon, appear in the credits.

Further listening: It’s John Lennon.  If you haven’t heard of him, google him.  If you’re looking for songs of his in a similar vein, go for Give Peace A Chance and Imagine.  And if you’re looking for another Beatle Christmas tune, check out Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime.  It’s the exact opposite of a protest song, but it’s still nifty.

Hit the tag below labeled, “G.O.A.T.: Greatest of All Christmas Tunes” to see more of my top 20 original Christmas songs!

Lots of renowned performers, modern and classic.  Here’s a few…





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