One of the great non-traditional Christmas songs is 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)' by John Lennon. 43 years later, Yoko Ono decided to team up with The Flaming Lips and ruin it.

In the original from 1971, former Beatle John Lennon and Yoko Ono to sing about the harsh circumstances and situations people live in every day. It isn't exactly a feel good song, but it is brilliant, still relevant, and it has become a Christmas standard.

Skip forward to 2014: Yoko--for reasons known only to her--enlisted the talents of Oklahoma psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips to "re-imagine" the song... poorly. Somewhere between the off tune warbling and the non-stop reverb is a great song being slowly roasted over an open fire.

I have actually read positive reviews of the 2014 version--one reviewer brazenly claims that The Flaming Lips use their "psychedelic flair to light up the song" (what does that mean?)--and there are those that say the added connection of having Yoko sing on it makes it somehow more special.

I couldn't disagree more.

For once I actually prefer the sound of her voice over the rest of the arrangement (that's not a compliment), but is this a "Happy Xmas?" What would John think?

'Happy Xmas (War is Over)? I think not. This is war. A war on our ears.

2014 Version

1971 Original