The song reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart (where release was delayed until 1972). Ostensibly a protest song about the Vietnam War, it has become a Christmas standard, appearing on several Christmas albums, and was voted the ninth favourite Christmas song in a poll by music channel VH1. The song was re-released in the UK on 20 December 1980, shortly after Lennon's murder on 8 December, and peaked at number 2 in the chart battle for the Christmas number one.
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