Daily Archives: December 9, 2009

Wednesday Night Christmas Music Byte

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is a Christmas song by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band. It was recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York City in late October of 1971, with the help of producer Phil Spector. It features soaring, heavily echoed vocals, and a sing-along chorus. The children singing in the background were from the Harlem Community Choir and are credited on the song’s single.

Although the song is a protest song about the Vietnam War, it has become a Christmas standard and has appeared on several Christmas albums. The lyric is based on a campaign in late 1969 by John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, who rented billboards and posters in eleven cities around the world that read: “WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas from John and Yoko”. The cities included New York, Tokyo, Rome, Athens, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Toronto, and some others. At the time the US was deeply entrenched in the unpopular Vietnam War. The line “War is over, if you want it, war is over, now!”, as sung by the background vocals, was taken directly from the billboards.

The record starts with a barely-audible whisper of Christmas greetings to their children: Yoko whispers “Happy Christmas, Kyoko”, then John whispers “Happy Christmas, Julian”. The lyric sheet from the 1982 release The John Lennon Collection erroneously gives this introduction as “Happy Christmas, Yoko. Happy Christmas, John”.

The single was released in the US on 6 December 1971, but never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 charts; the UK release was delayed until the following November due to a publishing dispute. Upon release, it reached #4 in the UK Singles Chart. The song was re-released in the UK on 20 December 1980 shortly after John Lennon’s death on 8 December 1980. It is known as the “secret number one”, as it reached the top of the UK Singles Chart for the week ending 3 January 1981, which was unpublished, as was usual for the Christmas week at that time. Thus, it is rarely, if ever, credited as a number one single.

Please enjoy this video-clip of John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band from the John Lennon Anthology collection of videos.

Let It Snowe, Let It Snowe, Let it Snowe !!!

Olympia Snowe (R) Maine and her twin sister.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Song Parodies continues…

With regard to health care reform legislation, the Democrats have once again called the Republican’s bluff. For months the Republicans have been feigning to be the champions of the Medicare program by warning the American public that passage of the Democratic health care reform bill and public option will cause rationing of Medicare services to the elderly. Sarah Palin went so far as to create the myth of so-called “death panels”. The mere thought that Republicans are portraying themselves as the defenders of the Medicare program is laughable. Everyone knows that it was the Republican Party that vociferously opposed the creation of the Medicare program in the first place and has continued to attempt to de-fund the program for the last four decades. Despite this new and revised supportive position regarding a government entitlement program by the Republicans, the Democrats have just raised the stakes and dared the G.O.P. to put its money where its mouth is.

Many news sources reported Tuesday evening that the Senate Democrats have developed a plan wherein they would scuttle the controversial “public option” in favor of an alternative plan that would also assure that millions of Americans receive more comprehensive health coverage at a lower cost than is available through the private insurance industry. The alternative plan? Well, the Democrats have elected to side with the Republicans in their full support for Medicare. In fact, they will drop the hated “public option” in return for simply lowering the qualifying age for Medicare enrollment from 65 to 55. The Republicans should be elated. The Democrats have finally admitted to the sanctity and virtues of the Medicare program to the extent that they want to make its benefits available to millions more. If the Medicare program is as valuable as the Republicans have been telling us of late, shouldn’t they be in favor of reforming health care by means of expanding this wonderful program?

“Not so fast”, say the Republicans. “We do not support more government involvement in health care”. But weren’t the Republicans just fighting against less government benefits going to the elderly as the result of medical service cuts that they said the Democratic plan mandated? So what is the Republican position? Do they even know what it is? Certainly the most sane and progressive Republican in the bunch, Maine’s Olympia Snowe, will be in favor of expanding Medicare. After all, she is the only Republican that voted alongside the Democrats on health insurance reform this term. What, she too is against the new proposal? She said this?

My deep concern is about the breadth and scale of this legislation, taking it in a more expansionistic approach for government’s role rather than reverse

Politico reports that Snowe would not say she is opposed to the proposed compromise as long as it includes the Medicare and Medicaid expansions. But she said she expressed concerns  about the Medicare “buy in,” which would allow people between 55 and 64 to purchase coverage in the popular insurance program for the elderly. She said, “It just adds a potential for exponential uncertainties with respect to the Medicare program.” Really Olympia, Just what “uncertainties”? By allowing millions of presently uninsured upper middle aged people to pay premiums so as to buy into Medicare at an earlier age would add funds to the Medicare system and insure many more people without the creation of a new and separate governmental agency. If Olympia Snowe cannot see the necessity for either the public option or an expanded Medicare enrollment, then she should no longer be courted by the Democrats as the sole sane and reasonable Republican.

Please click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with today’s Christmas carol parody.

Let It Snow song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18vsYFF0rTE

LET IT SNOWE

(sung to the Christmas song “Let It Snow”)

Oh, that Olympia is frightful,
Her health care position, spiteful
She’s in the “Party of No”
Let it Snowe! Let it Snowe! Let it Snowe!

It’s health care reform she’s stopping
The sick uninsured are dropping
But she loves the status quo
Let it Snowe! Let it Snowe! Let it Snowe!

She refuses to do what’s right
Even though she knows we need reform
She continues to fuss and fight
Her goal is to misinform

People are slowly dying
Insurance to dear for buying
We can blame Olympia Snowe
Let it Snowe! Let it Snowe! Let it Snowe!

(musical interlude)

“Public Option” would be just right
She would know if she were more informed
It would solve our insurance plight
And soon would be known as the norm

Why won’t she just stop denying
The insurance lobby’s lying
But they’re paying her lots of dough
Let it Snowe! Let it Snowe! Let it Snowe!

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