” Happy Xmas (War Is Over) ” is by John Lennon ( John Winston Lennon ) and Yoko Ono. John was an English singer, songwriter and a founding member of the most successful band in music history, The Beatles.
Yoko Ono is a Japanese singer, songwriter and multimedia artist. She is probably the most famous peace activist in the World today. Yoko married John at the British Consulate Office in Gibraltar in 1969; the service was conducted by registrar Cecil Wheeler.
Lyrics for the song were written by John and Yoko with production for the single by Phil Spector, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Phil Spector ( Harvey Phillip Spector ) is an American record producer, musician and songwriter.
He is famous for developing the Wall of Sound (also known as the Spector Sound ) which is a music production formula developed by Phil, engineers Stan Ross, Larry Levine and the Phil Spector Wall of Sound Orchestra ( also known as the Wrecking Crew ).
” Happy Xmas (War Is Over) ” was released in the United States on the 1st of December 1971 and on the 24th of November 1972 in the United Kingdom. It was released on the Apple record label, which was founded by the Beatles in 1968 to look after the band’s commercial interests.
The song features the Harlem Community Choir.The neighbourhood of Harlem is in the north section of the borough of Manhattan in New York City.
John based the song on a sporting ballad about a horse called Skewball; the horse was foaled in 1741 with its original owner being Francis, the 2nd Earl of Godolphin. Screwball’s most famous race took place on the plains of Kildare in Ireland.
Although the origins of ” Happy Xmas (War Is Over) ” can be traced back to the sporting ballad, it is accepted that John based the song around ” Stewball “, a 1963 track by American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. They had based their version on a recording in the early 1940s by American folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie. Many of his works are deemed to be of cultural importance and are archived in the Library of Congress.
Lyrically the song is an anti-war protest song about America’s involvement in the Vietnam war ( 1 November 1955 – 30 April 1975 ). In December 1969 John and Yoko had launched an international multimedia campaign.
The campaign featured billboard space rented by the couple in twelve major cities around the world, which took in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Rome, Athens, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Helsinki. The billboards were black-and-white posters that made the declaration ” WAR IS OVER! If You Want It – Happy Christmas from John & Yoko “.
After the success of John’s 1971 single ” Imagine, ” he concluded that ” Now I understand what you have to do: Put your political message across with a little honey “.
The song conveyed the anti-war message while at the same time coming across as optimistic; he tried to avoid the sentimentality of the many previous Christmas singles that are associated with the holiday season.
The accompanying music video featured on The John Lennon Video Collection, which was released on VHS ( Video Home System ) format in 1993, which corresponded with The John Lennon Collection reissued in 1989.
The video featured images of the billboard “War is Over!” 1969 campaign and photographs from the 70s of John, Yoko and their son Sean. In 2003 for the DVD Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon the video was remastered and recut, this time with documentary footage. The footage used this time depicted children, from the Vietnam War and scenes from more recent conflicts.
” Happy Xmas (War Is Over) ” was a commercial success and has become a season staple over the years. In 1971 in the United States the song reached number thirty-six on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart and reached number 28 on the Record World Singles Chart. John and Yoko reached number 3 on the Billboard Christmas Singles chart.
In the United Kingdom, the song entered the UK Singles Chart on the 9th of December 1972 and reached number two. It spent eight weeks in the Top Ten and a total of thirty weeks on the UK chart.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: N/A
UK Highest Chart Position: 2
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Canadian RPM Top Singles 43, Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 4, Germany (Official German Charts) 45, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 6, Norway (VG-lista) 3
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