John Lennon: Give Peace a Chance (1969)




In March 1969 John Lennon, then still a member of The Beatles, married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. They spent their honeymoon as two week-long ‘bed-ins’, one in Amsterdam, the other in Montreal, intended as a protest against war. Lennon and Ono remained in bed for the entire fortnight, surrounded by flowers and peace signs, while receiving members of the press and answering questions. During the Montreal ‘bed-in’ Lennon organised a makeshift recording session, installing equipment from a local studio. Accompanied by a host of celebrity guests, reporters and other visitors they recorded a hastily written and partly improvised song called Give Peace a Chance. It was released a month later, reaching as high as number two in Britain and number 14 in the United States. Its stomping beat, repetitive chorus and simple message saw Give Peace a Chance picked up by anti-war activists, who sang it repeatedly at protests and rallies.



One, two, three, four…
Everybody’s talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m.

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

C’mon, everybody’s talking about ministers,
Sinisters, banisters and canisters
Bishops and fishops and rabbis and popeyes,
And bye bye, bye byes.

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Let me tell you now
Everybody’s talking about
Revolution, evolution, masturbation,
Flagellation, regulation, integrations
Meditations, United Nations
Congratulations.

Everybody’s talking about
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary
Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper
Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer
Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna
Hare, Hare Krishna


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