John Lennon’s pacifist anthem again this Friday sounded throughout Europe on the airways. At the request of Berlin Public Radio, around 160 public radio stations from 28 European countries simultaneously played “Give Peace a Chance”, the song Lennon composed in 1969 against the Vietnam War.
The song, recorded in room 1742 on June 1, 1969, had its obvious starting point in Lennon’s response to war. These words haunted his mind, he repeated them to himself until he found music in them, and then it became a message for a world.
The recording session was attended by the Hare Krishna devotees as well as several celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and Petula Clark. Lennon played acoustic guitar, alongside him, Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers also played guitar. Kyoko Chan Cox Ono, the little daughter of Yoko Ono, participated with a tambourine. The song was released as a single with Yoko Ono’s “Remember Love” on the side on July 4, 1969, in England and three days later in the United States.
This song was recorded in an improvised style with an eight-track device in which Lennon said everything that did not represent him politically and ideologically, repositioned him politically and ideologically, after the false step given with the lyrics of “Revolution”. Definitively stripped of the corset that The Beatles had come to mean, Lennon, unleashed his tongue and began to say what he really thought about the world. Then would come “Imagine”, “Power to the People” and “Workin Class Hero” (Hero of the working class) amongst others.
The campaign was created by Radioeins (rbb) as a showcase of how the power of radio can amplify growing support for peace and unite the world.
“…more apparent every day. Our solidarity, our humanity, and our support are needed. It is a good signal seeing Europe’s radio stations join forces to remind us of that with this song. It is a source of strength and urges us not to look the other way.” Patricia Schlesinger, Chairwoman of ARD, rbb Director-General, stated.
Speaking on behalf of Ukrainian Radio, Yurii Tabachenko, Executive Producer, Channel One at UA: Ukrainian Radio, said, “UA: Ukrainian Radio thanks its colleagues from the European Broadcasting Union for their support. It is extremely important that today Europe is united around Ukraine.”
Noel Curran, Director General, EBU, said, “…This powerful call for peace through an iconic song will resonate with millions of listeners. This is what we do. I’m proud to belong to a community that, when the world has been fractured, can create moments to bring people together.”
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