John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (The War Is Over)” has been reimagined countless times since its 1971 release, but that caaaan’t stop, and it woooon’t stop Miley Cyrus from taking a whack at it.
On Friday (December 14), Miley shimmied down the figurative chimney and delivered a special gift for fans: a cover of the holiday standard produced by Mark Ronson and featuring Sean Ono Lennon, which is about the most legit stamp of approval you could ask for. Their gleaming pop version of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over!)” — yes, they added an exclamation point to the title — finds Cyrus passionately pleading for peace while Lennon adds cheery harmonies of “War is over / If you want it” into the mix.
Just hours before the song’s release, Cyrus visited The Tonight Show and told host Jimmy Fallon that the cover came together at New York’s famed Electric Lady Studios. Though the original version was intended as a Vietnam protest song back in the ’70s, the 26-year-old believes its message is still relevant today: “I don’t think anything could speak louder about what’s going on right now than ‘War Is Over,'” she said.
Fallon also asked Cyrus if Lennon sounded like his late father during their studio session. She answered, “I think more than just inheriting the voice, or you know the way he looks or whatever, that it’s about the magic that he has. I think that’s what he’s really inherited more than anything: it’s just this radiant magic.”
The three will perform their new cover on Saturday Night Live this weekend, in addition to Cyrus and Ronson’s recent collaborative single, “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart.” Tune in to feel all the peaceful holiday vibes.