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Give Peace A Chance

Sunday, December 12, 2010   |   Music
Just caught a Saturday Night Live performance by Paul McCartney in which he did a medley that included 'Give Peace a Chance' by John Lenon.
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Paul McCartney on SNL | John Lenon - Give Peace A Chance

Recording 'Give Peace a Chance'. Left to right: Tommy Smothers (with back to camera), John Lennon, Timothy Leary, Yoko Ono, Rosemary Leary and Paul Williams
The song was written during Lennon's "Bed-In" honeymoon: when asked by a reporter what he was trying to achieve by staying in bed, Lennon answered spontaneously "All we are saying is give peace a chance"; Lennon liked the phrase and set it to music for the song. He sang the song several times during the Bed-In, and finally, on 1 June 1969, in Room 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, recorded it using a simple setup of four microphones and a four-track tape recorder rented from a local recording studio. The recording session was attended by dozens of journalists and various celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Joseph Schwartz, Allan Rock, Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Murray the K, Al Capp and Derek Taylor, many of whom are mentioned in the lyrics. Lennon played acoustic guitar and was joined by Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers, also on acoustic guitar.

Written by John Lennon while The Beatles were officially still together, the song is one of three Lennon solo songs, along with "Instant Karma!" and "Imagine", in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Being one of John Lennon's most famous songs, it has since been released on almost every compilation of his solo work.

Ev'rybody's talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism
Isn't it the most
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev'rybody's talking about
Ministers, Sinisters, Banisters and canisters,
Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Pop eyes,
And bye bye, bye byes.
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Let me tell you now
Ev'rybody's talking about
Revolution, Evolution, Mastication, Flagelolation, Regulations.
Integrations, Meditations, United Nations, Congratulations
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Oh Let's stick to it
Ev'rybody's talking about
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy smothers, Bob Dylan,
Tommy Cooper, Derek Tayor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna,
Hare Krishna
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance