Wonderful Christmastime / Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Dec 3, 2008 2:02:02 GMT -5
Post by yerblues1968 on Dec 3, 2008 2:02:02 GMT -5
Wonderful Christmastime is a 1979 Christmas song by Paul McCartney. The song was released on November 6, 1979. McCartney's song enjoys significant Christmastime popularity in the UK, US, and Canada. The notable synthesizer riff was played on a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. The song was later added as a bonus track on the CD reissue of Wings' Back to the Egg. Although the song did not chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, it reached #6 in the UK Singles Chart.
Paul and Linda McCartney
Fellow ex-Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison had already released such numbers, and Ringo Starr made a Christmas album decades later. Of all of the former Beatle seasonal offerings, Lennon's Happy Xmas (War is Over) and McCartney's Wonderful Christmastime have become two of a large number of popular Christmas songs played year after year.
Paul McCartney - "Wonderful Christmastime." High Quality Audio. (3:43 minutes)
HAPPY CHRISTMAS (WAR IS OVER)
Happy Christmas (War Is Over) is a song by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the The Plastic Ono Band. It was recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York City in late October of 1971, with the help of producer Phil Spector. It features soaring, heavily echoed vocals, and a sing-along chorus. The children singing in the background were from the Harlem Community Choir and are credited on the song's single. This song was John Lennon's reaction to the war in Vietnam.
Although the song is a protest song about the Vietnam War, it has become a Christmas standard and has appeared on several Christmas albums.
STRUCTURE AND RELEASE
The lyric is based on a campaign in late 1969 by John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, who rented billboards and posters in eleven cities around the world that read: "WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas from John and Yoko". The cities included New York, Tokyo, Rome, Athens, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Toronto, and some others. At the time 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.
The song's melody has been compared to that of the folk standard known as Stewball.
The WAR IS OVER! campaign was launched on 15 December 1969 at the Peace for Christmas concert, a benefit for UNICEF held at London’s Lyceum Ballroom. Ono and Lennon performed with George Harrison, Keith Moon, and The Delaney and Bonnie Band, Alan White, Bobby Keyes, Klaus Voormann, Jim Gordon and Billy Preston - as the Plastic Ono Supergroup. Their two-song, twenty-five minute set featured extended versions of both sides of their latest single: Cold Turkey and Don’t Worry Kyoko. (Photos by Yoko Ono Official.)
The record starts with a barely-audible whisper of Christmas greetings to their children: Yoko whispers "Happy Christmas, Kyoko", then John whispers "Happy Christmas, Julian". The lyric sheet from the 1982 release The John Lennon Collection erroneously gives this introduction as "Happy Christmas, Yoko. Happy Christmas, John".
The single was released on December 6, 1971 in the US, reaching #3 on the Billboard charts; the UK release was delayed until the following November due to a publishing dispute. Upon release, it reached #4 in the UK Singles Chart. Directly following John Lennon's death on December 8, 1980, the song was re-released in the UK on December 20, 1980. It is known as the "secret number one", as it featured top in the UK Singles Chart for the week ending January 3, 1981, which was unpublished, as was usual for the Christmas week at that time. Thus, it is rarely, if ever, credited as a number one single.
John Lennon, Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band singing "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)." (3:29 minutes)
John Lennon, Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band singing, "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" Long Version. (10:05 minutes)