Today in History (1971): John Lennon and Yoko Ono Begin Recording ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ in New York

2013-10-28 1

We’re giving you early Christmas vibes today through the iconic peace anthem-slash-Christmas song, “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by the couple John Lennon and Yoko Ono!

Photo via Blogspot

Lennon and Yoko were two of the most prominent advocates of peace, especially during the Vietnam War in which the US was involved. “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” was penned by Lennon and Ono, and was performed by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir. It was recorded on the 28th and 31st of October at the Record Plant East in New York City, and was released on December 1 in the US as a single with “Listen, the Snow is Falling” by Yoko/Plastic Ono Band on the B-side. Meanwhile, a legal dispute between Lennon and music publisher Northern Song over royalties delayed the release of “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” in the UK until November 24, 1972.

Video via YouTube

“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” is a Christmas song which was originally a protest song against the Vietnam War. It came soon after the couple’s international multimedia campaign in December 1969, where monochromatic posters stating, “WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) – Happy Christmas from John & Yoko” were put up on rented billboards in 12 major cities across the globe.

New York City, December 1969. Photo via

The release of “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” in the US was said to have not been that successful, although it was recognized in 1971 and again in 1972 by the Billboard magazine as one of its “Best Bets for Christmas.”

Photo via Wikipedia

However, “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” was successful in Lennon’s motherland, spending eight weeks and eventually peaking at no. 4 on the UK Singles Chart after its release. After Lennon’s death on December 8, 1980, the song re-entered said chart at no. 2 and remained in the list for nine weeks. It has also entered the Top 10 charts in Australia, Singapore, and some countries in Europe between December 1972 and February 1973.

The popularity of “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” grew in the years that followed and was even able to re-enter music charts in the US and the UK. Covers have also been made by various artists including Neil Diamond, Diana Ross, Sarah McLachlan, and The Fray.

All information in this article were sourced from Wikipedia.

Like this article? Check out the Icons in Focus and Today in History series in the Lomography magazine!

written by chooolss on 2013-10-28 #videos #vietnam-war #john-lennon #lifestyle #vintage #harlem-community-choir #today-in-history #plastic-ono-band #happy-xmas-war-is-over #yoko-ono

One Comment

  1. merry
    merry ·

    We Love Love John and Yoko

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