Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Album: Shaved Fish (1971)
Charted: 2 42
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  • (Happy Christmas Kyoko)
    (Happy Christmas Julian)

    So this is Christmas
    And what have you done
    Another year over
    And a new one just begun
    And so this is Christmas
    I hope you have fun
    The near and the dear one
    The old and the young

    A very Merry Christmas
    And a happy new year
    Let's hope it's a good one
    Without any fear

    And so this is Christmas
    For weak and for strong
    For rich and the poor ones
    The road is so long
    And so happy Christmas
    For black and for white
    For yellow and red one
    Let's stop all the fight

    A very Merry Christmas
    And a happy new year
    Let's hope it's a good one
    Without any fear

    And so this is Christmas
    And what have we done
    Another year over
    A new one just begun
    And so happy Christmas
    We hope you have fun
    The near and the dear one
    The old and the young

    A very Merry Christmas
    And a happy new year
    Let's hope it's a good one
    Without any fear
    War is over, if you want it
    War is over now

    la, la, ah, ah
    Happy Christmas
    Happy Christmas (happy Christmas)
    Happy Christmas (happy Christmas) Writer/s: John Winston Lennon, Yoko Ono
    Publisher: Downtown Music Publishing
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 56

  • Bob Castaneda from CaliforniaTED IRWIN RIP recorded the bass track on this song according to his obituary.
  • Anonymous from Liverpool EnglandWe don't expect you Americans to get it. If you think John Lennon was a whining millionaire. You don't understand him ...
  • Victor From Md from MdKristy from SC (though then you say Karen from Baltimore) - why so much hate? Where is the whining? "I hope you have fun, the near and dear one....etc"? "Let's hope it's a good one? I see NO whining or criticism in the song, only hope. As for your question
    "what have you done John?", the last verse says "what have WE done?" He didn't "constantly criticize the world". He criticized what he saw as evil and injustice and 40 years later we are still seeing he was right. Hate has blinded and deafened you. Get some love into your heart.
  • Kristy from ScKaren from Baltimore, MD, I could not agree more. I hate this song. It’s just millionaires John Lennon and Yoko Ono whining again and criticizing everyone else in the world. I was so sick of him and and his constant criticism of the world by the time that song came out that I wanted to barf.
    Every time I hear it, I say, “And what have YOU done, John!?!?”
  • Carles from BarcelonaComfortably Sad. Sadly Comfortable. Tears in my eyes from the start...
  • Mason from HereAny song .. ANY of them gets really, really, really old after you hear it a million times.
    I dread the Christmas season simply because of the radio. IHeartRadio owns everything now, and they've decided this is THE flagship Christmas tune of all time.
    It's terrible. When I was a kid, Christmas was about having a good time; when the world was large, and everybody's problems weren't my problems.
    This song is a joke. War will continue. It doesn't really matter what 'we want.'
    Now.. don't get me started on "Last Christmas", by WHAM!, and 400 hundred other 'artists.'
    Pure crap.
  • Hugh from Phoenix, AzI like the pure sentiment in this song. Though it qualifies as a protest song (which I tend to dislike because they are often heavy handed), it eschews politics in favor of something more universal..the desire for peace. A great holiday song.
  • Chelsea Girl from Cleveland, OhSome people here are misunderstanding the message of this song. John Lennon was someone who really poured his life/lessons into his music/art. In this case, he was a peace activist who was also a superstar. He decided, "gee if I can get something about PEACE on the airwaves during the holiday season, why not?" And indeed, why not? This is the time of year when people are supposedly more inclined to give back/love more/think about others. Yet it was also a time of war and distress. This song is NOT a negative song, and Lennon wasn't a hypocrite for writing it. It's deep, contemplative, and beautiful. It gets to the very essence of what we SHOULD be caring about, and it does so in a gorgeous CLASSIC manner. I love it.
  • Kyler from Jonesboro, Arshinedown coverd this as a single and is a great modern version of this song
  • Wayne from New Haven, CtI thought they easch wished each other Happy Christmas? I too had this single when it first came out on clear vinyl, with their picture on it.
    Yoko morphing into John... Great song, with a great meaning. Just forget the off singing by Yoko and listen to John & the choir!
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvOn those posters that said "War is over!.....if you want it", it had below it, Happy Christmas from John and Yoko on it.
  • Mark from Preston, United KingdomIs this the same tune as The time of the Preacher by
    Willie Nelson
  • Deb from Melbourne, AustraliaThis song is incredibly depressing, it's well written but I can't agree with all the people saying it's "beautiful". I like the fact that it's a reality check: here we are with our Christmas trees and open fireplaces and presents, but what is happening in the rest of the world? So, when people say it's beautiful and sing it merrily at Carols services, I have to wonder whether they really have a clue what it's about...
  • Kelly from Liverpool, United Kingdomgod listen to yoko in the background of this song... haha.. im sorry but just comparing her voice to johns..... omg.. its terrible!! but i love this song. :] its wonderful and its soo great. i listen to it every Christmas.
  • E from Atlanta, GaThe Come Back to Jamaica song that came out in 1978 was based on the tune of this song. Though I thought Lennon didn't sell songs for commercials?
    Btw here's an interesting book about alternate viewpoints about brainwashing by tv
  • Trogbob from San Diego, CaKaren, go watch Joyeux Noel. Then tell me attaching war to Christmas is preposterous.
  • Heather from Los Angeles, Casorry the Vietnam war did not come to an end because of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Probably CBS live coverage of said war during everyone's dinnertime deserves that credit.
  • Gregg from Middletown, CtErin and Gary: Yoko whispers "Happy Christmas, Kyoko (to her daughter), then John whispers "Happy Christmas, Julian" (to his son). Jordan: he never said that. What he said was, "We're bigger than Christ", referring to the popularity of the Beatles - but it got so warped out of proportion that some radio stations actually staged album burnings; Stafanie: actually, it was meant as a Christmas song (the "B" side is a another Christmas song, written by Yoko Ono). And Karen, get over yourself - peace and joy is exactly the message they're trying to get across (War is over, if you want it - and that's exactly what happened!!) What have YOU ever done?
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmThis song rocks hardcore! Happy Christmas everyone!
    P.s John & Yoko ain't wacko's
  • Karen from Baltimore, MdAll of this is rubbish. John and Yoko were just plain weird. John was like a child who needed a mommy and Yoko filled the bill. To attach war to Christmas is simply preposterous, and self-serving on his part. Try to remember that THIS GUY WAS A MILLIONAIRE for crying out loud. He was a whiny sniveling little wimp of a man. Paul
    McCartney released his upbeat Christmas tune "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime" in response to Lennon's negative spin on everything that people enjoy. McCartney saw his won children excited about Christmas and wanted to remind people that Christmas is for children, not over-grown adult "children" who have to ruin even the Yuletide feelings of peace and joy. Poor Sean Lennon (back then), with a couple of wackos like John and Yoko for parents.
  • Josh from Sunnyvale, Ca"IMHO this "could" have been the all-time best Christmas song...however...Yoko just ruins it. She is so off key that it just makes me ill to listen to this song. Lennon was a master...why oh why he ever let her on this track I will never know.
    - Chet, Washington, DC"

    I couldn?t agree more. That song just came on and like every time it plays; it literally pains me to listen to it (on account of the ?screeching woman? in the background who is SO off key!!!). I Googled it tonight and had to know who ruined this song (I thought it was some elderly backup singer). Other than that, it?s a very good song...
  • Casey from Union, NjI love this song. It is my favorite Christmas song ever.
    This song was also featuredas a hidden song on the "Instant Karma: Save Darfur" cd.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaKyoko is Yoko Ono's daughter from her first marriage. But she didn't get custody of her.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaAnnabella yes thats Yoko leading in the choir.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaThis is one of his best songs next to Watching The Wheels. It just so beautiful. I like at the beginning in a low whisper Yoko say Happy Christmas Kyoko and John says Happy Christmas Julian it's a little bit hard to hear.
  • Ruby from Cc, TxYoko wasn't on it because John thought she was a good singer, she was on it because John loved her and wanted her on it.
  • Ben from Cincinnati, Ohjordan of wv, i always wondered that but in a 1972 (i think) photo shoot he can be seen wearing a small cross.
  • Danielle from South Amboy, NjThis song has such meaning to it. I respect John Lennon greatly, although I never really knew much about him. Wonderful song, and I don't care if anyone seems to disagree.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrActually, Kyoko is Yoko Ono's daughter, not her mother.
  • Patrick from Tallapoosa, GaI thought it was John at the beginning saying "Happy Christmas, Yoko...Happy Christmas, Julian."
  • Patrick from Tallapoosa, GaAt the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington, DC you can see posters advertising "War is Over (If You Want It)" framed and displayed in one section. I think these are the actual posters.
  • Niki from Chicago, IlThis song makes you think! I love it!!
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScJordan: He didn't mean for it to bea christmas song, the part in parentheses after Happy Christmas is "war is over". That's the key to understanding the song. John is wanting to question what has really been accomplished in the way of making the world a better more peaceful place. RIR. i miss you John.
  • Dave from Ssm, Canadajohn i will miss you i envey you i used to be a real bad bad man but once i heard war is over i changed and did a lot of research on you i kno that your watching over me in heaven so may your soul rip and what kind of man would shoot a nice kind and caring man like you so we miss you and i know the answer to my question the guy was a real ####### RIP JOHN
  • Kara from Great Neck, NyMaroon 5 covered this song in 2004 for jingle ball.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnThis is one of my favorite holiday hits. The song was actually based on a Peter, Paul and Mary song titled Stewball.
  • Jordan from WvDon't you think it's kind of hypocritical for John to write a Christmas song about a year after saying "I don't believe in Jesus"?
  • Jennifer from New York, NyAnyone willing to help me begin a peace movement please email me.

    Subject: Imagine

    John Lennon would have wanted us to keep moving for peace, we have to continue his movement.

    "War is Over...If You Want It"-John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  • Elysia from Hamilton, New ZealandI cannot watch this video clip without bawling my eyes out. John Lennon stood for so much, such a big heart and terrific mind.
  • Liliana from Huntley, Ili agree, yoko is NOT the best singer but she doesn't ruin the song. besides, how 'bout listening to yourselves singing xmas carols? they're not meant to be records, it's the spirit.
  • Jude from Thomasville, GaThis is a thoughtful, beautiful song. My most sincere Christmas wish is that it come true. By the way, children, no one ever sings a Christmas song badly. It's the spirit of the season.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn England, the expressions "Happy Christmas" and "Merry Christmas" are used about 50/50. In the U.S. you almost never hear anyone say "Happy Christmas."
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Scchet, we all know that Yoko isn't a good singer, but you've got to respedt the facts that she influenced John... a lot! Great song, by the way!
  • Natalia from Sydney, AustraliaJohn is not saying anything to his mother at the beginning of the song. Yoko Ono says "Happy Christmas, Kyoko" and John says "Happy Christmas, Julian", a comment directed to his son. If you turn the volume up and listen carefully, you will clearly hear him say "JULIAN". It also states so in the song booklet.
  • Gary from Uk, United StatesSomeone said they say happy christmas john/yoko at the begining of this song. It is actually saying (yoko):'Happy chrismas Kyoko' (John):'happy christmas Julie' the names of their mothers. John obviously had lost his mother at an early age and in his solo career started to deal with it. im not sure if yoko had lost her mother too.
  • Loretta from Liverpool, EnglandWar is over if you want it.... I want it to be over... it's just up to the 1% of people willing to fight to say "No!!! We want peace." This is xmas music and not propaganda, but John would have wanted us to use this song as a rally for peace. Peace out.
  • Ej from Manila, Philippines, OtherThe song actually starts with both of them saying Happy Christmas Yoko/John and not "Merry Christmas..." I don't find it cute, but I like the song.
  • Andy from Melbourne, AustraliaBearing in mind that this isn't a Christmas song at all, it's an anti-war song that uses Christmas as a reference point to say "what the hell have we actually acheived in this last year, or are we as nuts as ever". The idea of one of Lennons most poinent songs being performed at Christmas carols, and being sung with contrived gusto and smiling faces is faintly disgusting, but that's what happens every year.
  • John from Williston Park, Nyone of my top 10 favorite Christmas songs, and leave it to John Lennon to make it so unique
  • Natasha from Chico, Canice song, celine dion (blehh) also did a cover of this
  • Erin Lennon from Toronto, Canadaok, don't diss yoko, she never meant any harm! who cares if she doesnt' have an amazing voice like john;s, or whatever, she's a great lady! i love at the very beginning of the song where they whisper to each other "merry christmas john, merry christmas yoko" it's so cute! i love them
  • Jeff from Barrington, IlWhether you like Yoko as a musician or not you have to respect her influence on John and his music. Don't forget that a lot of the lyrics to Imagine were strait from Yoko's diary.
  • Chet from Washington, DcIMHO this "could" have been the all-time best Christmas song...however...Yoko just ruins it. She is so off key that it just makes me ill to listen to this song. Lennon was a master...why oh why he ever let her on this track I will never know.
  • Will from Roswell, GaI agree with Shirley and Geoff. This song is just plain great. No one ever stated that Ono was a good singer. While I don't like her personally, at least shes out there doing something that is saying something.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrThe Irish band The Corrs also recorded this song in 1998 for their Christmas Special. And who said that Yoko Ono was a good singer? Was she the one singing with the Children's Choir? The woman leading the choir sounds like my Grandma Dorcas! Blaaaaaand!
  • Geoff from Adelaide, AustraliaNever has a more beautiful Christmas song been writen. Pure magic.
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