When John Lennon and Yoko Ono first released this song in 1971, it was in the midst of rallies, billboards and bed-ins as part of their larger anti-Vietnam War movement. Powered by optimism, holiday spirit and a plea for world peace, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” became a chart-climbing Christmas staple that’s been covered by many musicians over the years, including Neil Diamond, Celine Dion and Maroon 5.
Now, four decades later, Glee‘s lovable jock-gone-Gleek Finn (played by Cory Monteith) joins the tradition. Glee‘s cover starts quietly and, as in the original, the somber anti-war message doesn’t kick in until one minute into the song. “War is over, if you want it,” rings the chorus over and over again like a mantra, layering hope over hope.
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is a single off Glee: The Music: The Christmas Album Volume Three, due on December 11th and available for download on iTunes. Glee‘s holiday-themed episode will air on Thursday, December 13th at 9pm EST on FOX.