Why About 160 Radio Stations Played John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” at Once

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TL; DR:

  • Around 160 radio stations across Europe simulcast John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance”.
  • This choice of programming was linked to current political events.
  • “Give Peace a Chance” performed differently in the US and UK.

John Lennon of The Beatles | Ron Howard/Redferns

“Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon is one of the most famous protest songs of the 1960s. In 2022, radio stations across Europe started playing the song at the same time. Some radio programmers have explained why.

John Lennon’s music was used to remind listeners of their ‘humanity’

2022 saw the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The European broadcast network reports that many radio stations aired “Give Peace a Chance” on March 4, 2022, to promote unity.

Patricia Schlesinger, president of ARD, a German broadcaster, discussed the decision. “The horrors of the war against Ukraine are more apparent every day,” she said. “Our solidarity, humanity and support are needed. It’s a good signal to see European radio stations unite to remind us of this with this song. It is a source of strength and pushes us not to look away.

Yurii Tabachenko, the executive producer of UA: Ukrainian Radio, discussed the use of “Give Peace a Chance”. “AU: Ukrainian Radio thanks its colleagues from the European Broadcasting Union for their support,” he said. “It is extremely important that today Europe is united around Ukraine.”

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A broadcasting titan wanted to use John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance’ to ‘bring people together’

Noel Curran, the chief executive of the European Broadcasting Union, shared his feelings about the song’s impact. “We know that in its hundred-year history, the public has turned to wartime public service media to inform and unite,” he said. “This powerful call for peace through an iconic song will resonate with millions of listeners.”

Curran then praised the European Broadcasting Union. “That’s what we do,” he said. “I’m proud to belong to a community that, when the world has been fractured, can create moments to bring people together.”

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How ‘Give Peace a Chance’ fared on the charts in the US and UK

“Give Peace a Chance” became a minor hit in the United States. It peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for nine weeks. John included “Give Peace a Chance” on the compilation album Shaved Fishwhich peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200remaining on the card for 32 weeks.

The Official Map Company reports that “Give Peace a Chance” has become much more popular in the UK. It peaked at No. 2 in the UK, remaining on the chart for 18 weeks. According The Official Map Company, Shaved Fish reached No. 8 and stayed on the chart for 29 weeks.

“Give Peace a Chance” was a hit in the 1960s and it influences the world to this day.

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