The first wish
Christmas bells, those Christmas bells
Ringing through the land
Bringing peace to all the world
And good will to man
In 1965, Charles Schulz started drawing Snoopy as a World War I flying ace battling the Red Baron. But “it reached a point where war just didn’t seem funny,” he told biographer Rheta Grimsley Johnson. Even so, Snoopy and the Red Baron inspired this novelty Christmas song with explosions, gunfire and a solid message of hope that came as the Vietnam War escalated.
The second wish
Someday all our dreams will come to be
Someday in a world where men are free
Maybe not in time for you and me
But someday at Christmastime
My friend Derek reminded me of this one on Christmas Eve morning a couple of years ago. When Stevie sings of “men” throughout this one, songwriter Ron Miller clearly means everyone, of any age.
I have this cut on “A Motown Christmas” from 1973, a comp I’ve had since I was in college in the late ’70s. Back then, “A Festival Of Carols In Brass” by the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble from 1967 was the only other Christmas record I had. Probably the next one was “The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album” from 1968 — here’s some of that.
The third wish
A very Merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the Plastic Ono Band and the Harlem Community Choir, released as a single, 1971. I’d always had it on “Shaved Fish,” the 1975 compilation LP from Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, until I found the single.
War is over, if you want it
Merry Christmas, mein friends!
Enjoy your holidays, everyone!