So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
As a protest against the Vietnam War, John Lennon sang these words in 1971. 9 years later he’d be dead.
Although it felt far removed from me at the time, I distinctly remember the fateful news of his death on December 8th, 1980. However, growing up I’d always been partial to Paul’s soothing vocals and soft features.
In fact, it wasn’t until listening to “Mother” from his first post-Beatles solo album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 30+ years after it had been written that I made a real connection to him and his music.
I was completely flattened by the sheer rawness and power of his words as he screamed them out. The unfiltered pain and honesty. I still am.
To my mind there has never been a better example of a figure in pop culture with the courage to do and say what he believed was right – protesting a war or professing his love for the woman people blamed for the break-up of the beloved Beatles.
Written 5 years after he’d laid down his guitar and decided to live deliberately after most of his life in the spotlight, nothing illustrates this better than his lyrics to “Watching the Wheels” released shortly before his death:
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go
To honor John Lennon on the anniversary of his death, I’d like to share “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” with you. Take a few minutes to listen and see if you can feel the power and emotion in his words and music.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy 2015 to you and your loved ones!