Despite my distaste for Yoko Ono (and John Lennon being one of my least favorite Beatles), the song is undeniably one of the greatest ever written, both musically and lyrically.
Its chorus, including the background lyrics "war is over, if you want it", sung by the Harlem Community Choir, deliver a goosebump-inducing message of peace at the time of year where so many people, of varying walks of life, celebrating any number of holidays, realign themselves with the magic of giving, the importance of family, the closeness of community and a sense of purpose about our short journey here on Earth.
I caught myself by surprise a couple days ago when the first Christmas playlist I put on this year pumped out this song and I started to get a little emotional.
It's surprising, because while I've always enjoyed Christmas and the holidays, I never found Christmas music to be particularly moving. Rather, after suffering through years of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" being the number one song played on the bar jukebox where I used to work during all of November and December, I found it less to be about the spirit of giving and more to be a lobotomized cue for automatons to order a 16th glass of egg nog.