December 8th, 2008

Christmas, Advent

Advent 2008: Happy Xmas (War is Over)

From one date that will live in infamy to another. On this date in 1980, John Lennon was murdered. I was asleep at the time; I was only 12, it was a school night, and his death wasn't announced until after 10:00 PM Central Time. My mom told me what had happened when I got up the next morning, and I still remember my reaction: "Why didn't you wake me up and tell me!" From my perspective as a young Beatles fan, it was without the question the biggest news event that had ever happened. That night, I was in my room and "Imagine" came on the radio and I starting crying so hard that I started to hyperventilate.

Speaking of "Imagine," it peaked at no. 3 on the Billboard charts, just like today's featured Christmas song, "Happy Xmas (War is Over)." It's as much a Vietnam War protest song as a Christmas song -- it has its origins in a 1969 billboard campaign Lennon and Yoko Ono masterminded in 1969; they rented billboards in eleven cities around the world that read "WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas from John and Yoko" -- but of course, that it's to any degree whatsoever a Christmas song means it hardly every gets played except this time of year. Unless you're me; this and many of the other songs I'm featuring this season are part of my regular rotation.

John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War is Over) (MP3, 3.3 MB)

Previous Advent posts:

2003: Whence is that goodly fragrance?
2004: Madonna and Child
2005: The Beatles Third Christmas Record
2006: A Carol
2007: Madonna in the Meadow