Why Around 160 Radio Stations Played John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance’ at Once

TL;DR:

  • Around 160 radio stations across Europe played John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” simultaneously.
  • This choice of programming was connected to current political events.
  • “Give Peace a Chance” performed differently in the United States and the United Kingdom.
"Give Peace a Chance" singer John Lennon wearing a jean jacket
The Beatles’ John Lennon | Ron Howard/Redferns

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

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

2022 saw the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian War. The European Broadcasting Network reports numerous radio stations played “Give Peace a Chance” on March 4, 2022, to promote unity.

Patricia Schlesinger, Chairwoman of ARD, a German broadcasting organization, discussed this decision. “The horrors of the war against Ukraine are more apparent every day,” she said. “Our solidarity, our humanity, and our support are needed. It is a good signal seeing Europe’s radio stations join forces to remind us of that with this song. It is a source of strength and urges us not to look the other way.”

Yurii Tabachenko, the executive producer of UA: Ukrainian Radio,” discussed the use of “Give Peace a Chance.” “UA: 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 director-general of the European Broadcasting Union, discussed his feelings on the song’s impact. “We know that throughout its hundred years history, the public have turned to public service media at times of war to inform and unite,” he said. “This powerful call for peace through an iconic song will resonate with millions of listeners.”

Curran went on to praise the European Broadcasting Union. “This is what we do,” he opined. “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’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

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

The Official Charts Company reports “Give Peace a Chance” became much more popular in the United Kingdom. It peaked at No. 2 in the U.K., staying on the chart for 18 weeks. According to The Official Charts Company, Shaved Fish hit 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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