“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” is a song by British musician John Lennon recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York in late October 1971 and released as a single. Assisted in production by Phil Spector, it includes a children’s choir from the Harlem Community Choir, credited on the theme.
Although the song is listed as a protest song against the Vietnam War, it soon became a Christmas anthem, appearing on numerous Christmas song compilation albums.
The lyrics are based on a propaganda campaign carried out in late 1969 by John and his wife, Yoko, who rented billboards and space in magazines to include the slogan “War Is Over (If You Want It)”, which can be translated into Spanish as “The war has ended (if you want)”. The cities where the campaign took place were New York, Tokyo, Rome, Athens and London. During this time, public opinion in the United States had been unanimously positioned against the Vietnam War.
– John Lennon: vocals, guitar, producer.
– Yoko Ono: vocals, producer.
– The Harlem Community Choir: backing vocals, Children’s Choir.
– May Pang: backing vocals.
– Nicky Hopkins: piano, chimes, glockenspiel.
– Teddy Irwin: guitar.
– Jim Keltner: drums, sleigh bells.
– Hugh McCracken: guitar.
– Chris Osbourne: guitar.
– Stuart Scharf: guitar.