Mixed Feelings on “Happy XMas (War is Over)” Re-Make

I am a John Lennon fan. I actually like Miley Cyrus too. I love the song “Happy XMas,” John Lennon’s anti-war, Christmas classic. I listened to Miley’s rendition with Sean Lennon and Mark Ronson on Saturday Night Live. I really liked it.

So what’s there to write about?

You can re-make any song you’d like, but some songs just belong to their moment. John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s rendition of this song had a meaning, an actual point- to protest the Vietnam War. While we have troops abroad at Christmas of 2018, we are not embroiled in a national debate over the justness of a full scale war. There aren’t large-scale protests in the streets over our continued presence in Afghanistan. We aren’t losing thousands of young, American G.I.’s every month. The moment we’re in isn’t the moment of that song.

One could argue that as long as there is war in the world, which is all of our human history, one needs to hear that song. By that standard, Miley Cyrus did a great job. This re-make just felt slightly off for me, even if masterfully done.