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Ten Socially Conscious Christmas Tunes

As the music of the ’60s began to take on more social relevance, the same began to occur with original Christmas songs.  [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Stevie Wonder[/lastfm] made a plea that “Someday at Christmas men won’t be boys, Playing with bombs like kids play with toys,” [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Lennon[/lastfm] pronounced Happy Xmas (War Is Over) and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Simon and Garfunkel[/lastfm] put a socially relevant spin on the traditional Silent Night.

Take a look at 10 Christmas songs from the past 40 plus years that sing for peace, love and harmony throughout the world.

Someday At Christmas– [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Stevie Wonder[/lastfm]

Originally released as the title track of Stevie Wonder’s 1967 Christmas album, the song has had a long life and gained new fans thanks to current heartthrob [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Justin Bieber[/lastfm], who included a version he initially posted to YouTube in 2007 as the closing track on the deluxe version of his new holiday CD Under The Mistletoe.

[metrolyrics artist=”stevie wonder” song=”someday at christmas”]

7 O’Clock News/Silent Night- [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Simon & Garfunkel[/lastfm]

The haunting audio of the 7 O’Clock News, featuring updates on the war in Vietnam, give added social relevance to this Simon & Garfunkel carol.  Ironically, the song was not from a holiday album, but from their 1966 classic Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme which also included Scarborough Fair/Canticle, Homeward Bound and The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).

[metrolyrics artist=”Simon & Garfunkel” song=”7 O’Clock News/Silent Night”]

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)- [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Lennon[/lastfm]

Released in 1971 by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir, it has since become one of the top Christmas tunes of all time.

[metrolyrics artist=”John Lennon” song=”Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”]

Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy- [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]David Bowie & Bing Crosby[/lastfm]

David Bowie’s pairing with Bing Crosby may have been one of the more unusual duets to ever occur, but in the original Peace on Earth, sung as a counterpoint to the classic Little Drummer Boy, they continued the musical cry for peace throughout the world.

[metrolyrics artist=”David Bowie” song=”Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy”]

I Believe In Father ChristmasGreg Lake

Greg Lake, best known as part of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Emerson, Lake and Palmer[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]King Crimson[/lastfm] claims to have written the song not as a traditional Christmas tune, but as a protest to the commercialization of Christmas.  The haunting scenes of war included at the end of the video have stopped many video networks from airing the video with other Christmas videos during the holiday season.

[metrolyrics artist=”Emerson, Lake and Palmer” song=”I Believe In Father Christmas”]

My Grown Up Christmas List- [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Natalie Cole[/lastfm]

Written by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]David Foster[/lastfm] and frequent Real Housewives of Beverly Hills guester and former Mrs. Bruce Jenner, Linda Thompson, My Grown Up Christmas List was originally recorded by Foster, with Natalie Cole on vocals, for his non-holiday 1990 album River of Love.  It has since also enjoyed success by both [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Amy Grant[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kelly Clarkson[/lastfm].

[metrolyrics artist=”Kelly Clarkson” song=”My Grown Up Christmas List”]

Do They Know It’s Christmas?- [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Band Aid[/lastfm]

Written by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bob Geldof[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Midge Ure[/lastfm], Do They Know It’s Christmas? was recorded in 1984 to raise money for the relief of the 1983-85 Ethiopian famine.  The group, collectively known as Band Aid, featured [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Duran Duran[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Boy George[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]George Michael[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Sting[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]David Bowie[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Paul McCartney[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]U2[/lastfm] and more.  The following year, Geldof took things one step further with the debut of the Live Aid concerts.

This One’s For The Children- [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]New Kids On The Block[/lastfm]

From their 1989 holiday album Merry, Merry Christmas, This One’s For The Children finds the New Kids exploring their serious side with a song for those in need.

[metrolyrics artist=”New Kids On The Block” song=”This One’s For The Children”]

Christmas In America- [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Pat Benatar[/lastfm]

Recorded as a charity single for 9/11, Pat Benatar’s patriotic Christmas In America asks to “Let peace resound throughout the world, especially on this day.”

[metrolyrics artist=”Pat Benatar” song=”Christmas In America”]

Christmas Wish- [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]She & Him[/lastfm]

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward‘s A Very She & Him Christmas, released just this year, contains this beautiful original holiday anthem that could very well become a Christmas classic, making the statement: “I look at all the toys under the Christmas tree, It makes me think about the way things could be, If people all over the world could just see them too.”

Can you think of any we’ve missed that you would like to see make the list? Let us know in the comments section below!

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