Well, we questioned the choice of song, and it seems anti-war campaigners
agree. John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ may make a good ensemble
song for the finalists of the Pop Idol show to record, but given current world affairs it’s subject matter may be a little inappropriate.
Massive Attack’s 3-D, one of the leading figures in the UK’s anti-war movement, certainly agrees. He yesterday hit out at 19 Television and BMG’s decision to release a version of the song for the Christmas market. He told NME: “This is a new low – it is utterly repugnant as a choice of song by anyone right now. US planes bombed and killed children in Afghanistan this week, US troop deaths since May have topped 200 and there have been thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties since Bush declared the war to be over.”
3-D’s objections are backed up by anti-war group CND. Their chair, Kate Hudson, told reporters: “This move is both insensitive and offensive to those that have lost friends and family in the war.” Stressing their objections were with the companies behind Pop Idol, and not the individual contestants, they called for all profits from the single to be donated to humanitarian organisations working in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Australian pop star Delta Goodrem has also recorded a version of the track for the Christmas market there. However she got the permission of Yoko Ono to subtlety change the name of the song the ‘Merry Xmas (Let War Be Over)’.