December is near, and yet another Christmas is about to come our way.

Although snow is nowhere to be seen and the decorations have gone from glitter to dirt, as the streets of certain cities and countries are covered in blood from shootings, bombings and other man-made cruelty.

Therefore, we’ll start out lightly by giving you the inspiration behind one of the all-time greatest Christmas songs.

What started out simply as a song about a racehorse, popularised by American singing group Peter, Paul and Mary in the sixties, was gently – if not by accident – transferred into a bell-ringing, love-bringing, syrupy monster of a plea for peace.

Happy Christmas (War Is Over)’ was written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and released in 1971 as a single by the Plastic Ono Band, with the Harlem Community Choir loudly singing out the message.

The track was the culmination of more than two years of peace activism undertaken by John and Yoko, that began with the famous bed-ins throughout March and May 1969, the first of which took place during their honeymoon.

As the cherry on top of the cake, Phil Spector was called in to do what he does best – give the song a boost with his trademark ‘Wall of Sound’ treatment.

The song has since become standard, and the message (unfortunately) as clear and fresh as ever, due to a continuously violent planet.

Sadly, it seems… war is never over.

John Lennon
Peter, Paul & Mary

Words: Anders Knudsen