John & Yoko, The Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
John Lennon & Yoko Ono: vocals
John Lennon; guitar
Klaus Voormann: bass
Hugh McCracken: guitar
Nicky Hopkins: piano, chimes
The Harlem Community Choir: vocals
Produced by John & Yoko & Phil Spector
Recorded at The Record Plant, New York, 28th October 1971
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is a song written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and released in 1971 as a single by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir. The song did not chart in the U.S. but reached #4 on the British singles chart (where release was delayed until 1972). Ostensibly a protest song about the Vietnam War, it has become a Christmas standard and has appeared on several Christmas albums.
The lyric is based on a campaign in late 1969 by Lennon and Ono, who rented billboards and posters in eleven major cities around the world that read: “WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas from John and Yoko”. In 1971, the US was deeply entrenched in the unpopular Vietnam War. The line “War is over, if you want it, war is over, now!”, as sung by the background vocals, was taken directly from the billboards.
Vocals: John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Harlem Community Choir
Guitar and bass guitar: Hugh McCracken, Chris Osborn, Teddy Irwin, Stuart Scharf
Keyboards, chimes and glockenspiel: Nicky Hopkins, Yoko Ono
Drums and sleigh bells: Jim Keltner
Source: SoundCloud / Yoko Ono