Advent Calendar #25: John Lennon – ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over)’

Holding up the philosophy that Christmas music should not only be festive, but diverse, Impact has compiled a list of 25 ‘Christmas songs’ to take you through advent. Including not only songs which are indisputably part of the Christmas canon, but also straying into areas of music which holds looser links to the season. Starting with the tenuous and heading for the recognised classics, look no further for your advent soundtrack.

Originally a protest song, this Christmas favourite was released in 1971 as a single by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band.  With mandolin-style guitar riffs and traditional Christmas bells underpinning nostalgic lyrics, it was the first Christmas release by any of the Beatles’ following their disbandment in 1970.

The song’s antecedent was an international campaign launched by Lennon and Ono against America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.  Covered by many artists since its release (Jake Bugg’s cover comes highly recommended) ‘War Is Over’ will undoubtedly remain relevant to old and new audiences alike.

Anna Hand

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