“A very Merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
without any fears”
That is such a John Lennon line the way “I didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m just a jealous guy,” or “if they saw you acting that way they’d laugh in my face” are such John Lennon lines, “Who in the hell d’you think you are? A super star? Well, right you are” are such Lennon lines. Dead for forty years now, now that we admit he was a flawed man can we go back to worshipping the place where John did what no one has really done before: he made the political and the personal the exact same urge, the same movement, the same inside out where he sees them both simultaneously and imagines a place where they can be the same thing entirely.
1971 found Lennon and Ono up to here in protesting the Vietnam War and fighting for anything at all they felt was unfair, at the same time they were studying Primal Scream Therapy. “The Primal Scream. Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis” by Dr. Arthur Janov was just a year old when Lennon incorporated into his wish to do for himself what he wanted to do for the world: save it. At the time Lennon said he realized that adding honey to his agitprop sold it, but that’s much like his comment that nothing he wrote truly reflected him till “Help!” -a clear misunderstanding of how deep into his psyche Lennon’s writing took him. He couldn’t help it. Lennon saw everything that affected him as deeply personal and a comment upon himself and a comment about the world at large, he saw “Happy Xmas” the same way. He hoped you’d join him.
With a children’s choir singing “war is over if you want it” and Lennon and Ono trading verses and trading whispered words in the intro (as in “Happy Christmas Julian, Happy Christmas Kyoto”) at the beginning, the hippies came together not as the violent revolutionaries of Sometime In New York City, but as the last of the hippies at the end of the 1960s.
A song of joy, love, and hope, a benediction to the individuals as we hold tomorrow in our hands, as it all belongs to us, the song remains a dream of a better world… if we want it…