John Lennon - Give Peace A Chance
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"Give Peace a Chance" is a 1969 single by (John Lennon's) Plastic Ono Band that became an anthem of the American anti-war movement at that time.
A different song with the same name, written by Leon Russell and Bonny Bramlett, was sung by Joe Cocker.
Writing and recording
The song was written during Lennon's Bed-In honeymoon: when asked by a reporter what he was trying to achieve by staying in bed, Lennon answered spontaneously "All we are saying is give peace a chance"; Lennon liked the phrase and set it to music for the song.. He sang the song several times during the Bed-In, and finally, on 1 June 1969, in Room 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, recorded it using a simple setup of four microphones and a four-track tape recorder rented from a local recording studio. The recording session was attended by dozens of journalists and various celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Joseph Schwartz, Allan Rock, Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Murray the K, Al Capp and Derek Taylor, many of whom are mentioned in the lyrics. Lennon played acoustic guitar and was joined by Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers, also on acoustic guitar.
The song was credited to Lennon/McCartney (John Lennon and Paul McCartney) and published by Northern Songs (now Sony/ATV Music Publishing). On some later releases of the song, only Lennon is credited; viz. the 1990s reissue of the 1972 album Live in New York City, the 2006 documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon (in which the song appears), and the 1997 compilation album Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon (and its DVD version six years later). Lennon later stated his regrets about being guilty enough to give McCartney credit as co-writer on my first independent single instead of giving it to Yoko, who had actually written it with me.  However, it has also been suggested that the credit was a way of thanks to McCartney for helping him record "The Ballad of John and Yoko" at short notice.
The "Give Peace a Chance" single (with Yoko Ono's "Remember Love" as the B-side) was released on 45 RPM vinyl in the UK (on APPLE 13) on July 4, 1969 and July 7, 1969 in the US (on Apple 1809). The track's first full-length album appearance was on the Lennon hits compilation The John Lennon Collection issued November 1, 1982 in the UK (EMI/Parlophone Records) and November 8, 1982 (originally on Geffen Records, since re-released on Capitol Records). A significantly truncated version of the Montreal session and a snippet of the One to One Benefit concert performance of the song appear on Lennon's Shaved Fish hits compilation from 1975. "Give Peace a Chance" was the first "solo" single released by a member of the Beatles while the band was still intact, though, technically, the artist was credited as Plastic Ono Band, not John Lennon.
The song reached number 14 on the pop charts in the United States and was kept out of the top slot in the UK by The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women".
The song quickly became the anthem of the anti-war movement, and was sung by half a million demonstrators in Washington, D.C. at the Vietnam Moratorium Day, on 15 October 1969. They were led by the renowned folk singer Pete Seeger, who interspersed phrases like, "Are you listening, Nixon?" and "Are you listening, Agnew?", between the choruses of protesters singing, "All we are saying ... is give peace a chance".
The original last verse of the song refers to: "John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper, Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Hare Krishna".
In the performance of "Give Peace a Chance" included on the Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album, Lennon openly stated that he couldn't remember all of the words and improvised with the names of the band members sharing the stage with him and anything that came to mind: "John and Yoko, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, Penny Lane, Roosevelt, Nixon, Tommy Jones and Tommy Cooper, and somebody."
The third verse contains a reference to masturbation, but Lennon changed this to "mastication" on the official lyric sheet. He later admitted this was a "cop out" but wanted to avoid unnecessary controversy.
- All we are saying, "Is give Peace a chance?
- Loved this song since childhood,however i doubt peaceful protest will bring about the change we need.i hope iam proven wrong
- @Zook Mon you get the idea, "peacefully protesting for peace" wouldn't fit in YouTube's character limit.
- You wrote above, "surrounded by people fighting for peace". You do realize that fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity, no?
- @chaserdotcz I think you need to consider the context: John and Yoko sitting in bed in a hotel room, surrounded by people fighting for peace, they needed a simple melody that everyone could catch onto. It's not about "rapping" or being amazingly complex and musical, it's about a shared message, a chant. You call it an "average choir"? It was originally a singalong in a hotel with a lot of stomping and clapping. Context is everything and it's still better than a lot of the crap you hear today!
- Definitely, even though Jesus still probably beats them in total number thanks to his head start and the number of generations he could approach. Anyways thinking about it now I believe I know where Jesus went wrong. If he really wanted his teaching to be embraced by the masses, he should have learned to play the guitar and make the sermons into songs. Or, being a carpenter, he could at least make guitars. Wouldn't it be good if there was a choice between Fender, Gibson and Jesus?
- yes, I guess you are living in some strange isolated community of anti-Lennon deviants ! After all, The Beatles were more popular than Jesus, right ?
- But since I'm afraid I might disappoint you by not arguing with you at all as one would expect from a well-behaved troll, I'd like to add that I hardly doubt there are billions of people who deem this song pretty good. We might be stretching things a little bit even by saying that such a high percentage of the entire world population has heard this song at all and I'm quiet sure not every one of them likes it, unless I'm living in some strange isolated community of anti-Lennon deviants.
- No argument here this time my friend, there is no single truth when it comes to any form of artistic expression. I dare to say again that the song is melodically primitive, which is objective truth. Therefore it's boring and it sucks. At the same time it's simplistic composition makes it a charming melody with a real soul. We both start with the same premise, end up with opposite conclusions, we are both equally right and yet we can never agree with each other. Isn't that a lovely paradox?
- Esta cancion te hace refleccionar :'( bueno eso me pasa
- Still I can not let you say that. It sucks for you my friend. Say it like it's your own opinion, it's pretty pretty good to me and billions of people who dig. I've been singing that tune since my teenage years, whistling, humming,.. it's JOHN LENNON ! I'm not saying that as a blind fan, he's was a good melodist, this is a good melody, and it was recorded live and had been remixed in a total PERFECT way. that's is my opinion. Yours is : "it simply sucks". cheers mate !
- Visit our channel, subscribe, share, spread the idea. Join the fourth branch and support peace world wide.
- Agree with you on the lyrics, the subject is still completely relevant today as it was decades ago. And I'm happy to see that we in fact agree with each other more than it may appear. Because this thing truly is a mantra - a simple phrase meant for repetitive chanting for various spiritual reasons. And it's probably a pretty good one too. Still fails as a song though, because musically it simply sucks, no matter how many famous people did the kicking and clapping. Peace (and force) with you too!
- slightly retarded rapper... thanks for that you little troll ! 'cause yes you are trolling by saying "probably one of the worst song ever written". The subject'n message of the song are indeed appealing, still today, with Lennon's humor and cynicism it remains something else than a simple hippie's anthem. This mantra has a real soul, with that precise mix, kick and claps in it. Sorry Yoda, your taste does not justify such a vomiting judgment. you're out ! Peace !
- You sure it's me doing the trolling? The fat kick and claps might impress a slightly retarded rapper at best and then there's an ordinary sounding choir singing a simple melody over and over. Except for the song's message which was quiet appealing back in the late sixties, there's nothing. And even an extremely talented and skilled producer can't save that.
- Exactly maan 1L<3VE8)-~
- Produced by Phil Spector my friend... listen to that fat kick and those claps, the choir... this gives an identity to this song that goes far beyond the composition itself. you little troll !
- all we are sayin' is give piece of cake...
- Make love not war
- Peace and Love
- lol crazy terroris... they do that for their god(all gods are not good) Do you know what is My first rifle?? This is crazy!! USA give peace a chance!!!
- What is sad, is that most people tink peace is just an old-fashioned idea of the sixties. But peace never dies, my friend
- Motherfucker, War is the answer.