Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Songs’

The fifth and final Christmas song I thought I’d share with you is “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon, released in 1971 in the USA and 1972 in the DUK.


This song was part of a long running anti-war campaign by John & Yoko which included the “bed-ins” for peace in Amsterdam and Toronto, the 1969 single Give Peace a Chance, and a billboard campaign which is shown in the video. Lennon said in a 1980 interview that he wanted to write a Christmas song so that there was an alternative to White Christmas. John & Yoko are joined in the song by the Harlem Community Choir.

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The fourth Christmas song I thought I’d share is “Stop the Cavalry” by Jona Lewie. It got to number 3 in December 1980.


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The second Christmas song I thought I’d share with you is “The Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth”, sung by Bing Crosby and David Bowie, probably the most unlikely pairing ever for a duet.


This song was recorded in September of 1977 to appear on Bing Crosby’s Christmas TV Special. Crosby died the following month, but the show went out as planned on US and DUK televisions. The song was not officially released as a single until 1982.

There has been much speculation as to how and why such an unlikely pairing took place. Many suggest that Bing Crosby had no idea who David Bowie was, and he certainly does seem to look at him with what appears to be a mixture of amusement, contempt and confusion. As for Bowie, suggestions for his reasons for appearing on Bing Crosby’s show range from that his mum would like it to trying to make his career more “mainstream”.

Whatever the reasons, the unlikely pairing led to a pretty good version of this traditional song.

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I thought I would blog about five Christmas songs between now and Christmas. The first of the five Christmas songs I’ve chosen to share is “When a Child is Born”, sung by Johnny Mathis. This was a big hit for Mathis in 1976, reaching number 1 in the Disunited Kingdom, and it had the coveted number 1 spot for the Christmas of that year.


It is not my favourite song by any stretch of the imagination, in fact I find it quite irritating. But I thought I would include it because I remember it being played for week after week on Top of the Pops when I was a child. It is still, to date, the only Johnny Mathis song I know.

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