PEACE CAMPAIGN Let’s all hope that the new year is a good one, minus all the violence and fear, like John Lennon hoped. SAROOP OOMMEN
John Lennon and Yoko Ono led effective peace campaigns against war and propagated peace. One of their slogans “War is Over, if you want it” was their cry against Vietnam. They hired hoardings across 11 cities and the simple message was seen in Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Rome, Athens, Amsterdam, Toronto and other cities. Two years later in 1971 Lennon used this in their Christmas hit single, recorded along with the Plastic Ono band and kids from the Harlem Community Choir. The song took off slowly, but later stormed the charts and has been covered by many artists even as recently by Maroon 5 in 2007. Lennon also released a video showing heartrending, gruesome images from wars around the world.
The chorus rings out with, “A merry, merry Christmas, And a happy New Year, Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.” A verse speaks out for all humanity; “So happy Christmas, For black and for white, For yellow and red ones, Let’s stop all the fight.”The refrain “War is over, if you want it, war is over now” is so simple and catchy that it grows on you before you know it. It is also the introductory musical riff to the song. Lennon and Yoko wrote that song 37 years ago. Our war today is terrorism and in defiance Ratan Tata says, “We may have been knocked down, but will never be knocked out!” Aamir Khan says, “If terrorists are showering their bombs of violence, let’s reciprocate with roses of love in thousands and more.”
Those are passionate words from public figures who we know care. It’s time for passion to be transcribed into poetry and new songs — one that gives hope to fight our war. It’s time that songwriters and musicians to collaborate and create powerful, audacious songs that will spearhead hope for our generation. Thirty years from now our sons and daughters will sing these songs to raise the banner of audacious courage to remember and be strengthened. Christmas is the season of hope, peace and gifts which all started with the birth of baby Jesus. Let’s walk into the New Year with renewed hope and a will that will not be shaken.
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