Skip to main content


  • Paul McCartney said one of John Lennon’s songs filled a physical need.
  • He said fans should sing it to President Richard Nixon at the White House.
  • The song became an international hit.
President Richard Nixon wearing a suit and tie
President Richard Nixon | Bettmann / Contributor

John Lennon‘s songs can be used in many situations. For example, Paul McCartney said one of John’s songs was something fans should sing to President Richard Nixon at the White House. Notably, the song was even more popular in the United Kingdom than it was in the United States.

Paul McCartney contrasted The Beatles’ songs with Elvis Presley’s songs

During a 2002 interview with Hot Press, Paul was asked if he was happy to have promoted peace and love through his songs. “I realized that somewhere along the way this idea of giving a good vibe off, giving a good message, crept in,” he said. “I’m not sure where. It just crept in — we didn’t mean to do it — just something in the ’60s.”

Paul contrasted The Beatles’ songs with Elvis Presley’s. “‘Cos we’d been listening to Elvis and ‘Heartbreak Hotel,'” he recalled. “It felt great but there wasn’t necessarily, like, a message.”

Paul McCartney said 1 of John Lennon’s songs satisfied a ‘physical need’

Paul discussed how the political climate inspired some of The Beatles’ songs. “But then with ‘All You Need Is Love‘ and ‘Let It Be‘ and things like that, I think it was probably the turmoil that we were going through and which the generation was going through, that suddenly there came this need for these songs,” he opined.

Paul said “Give Peace a Chance” satisfied a “physical need.” And then when John did things like ‘Give Peace a Chance’ there became very much this physical need for people to have something to sing at the White House and get Nixon out and end the Vietnam War,” Paul continued.


Paul McCartney Didn’t Realize 1 Beatles Song Could’ve Been About John Lennon’s Mother Until Way After the Fact

How John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Give Peace a Chance” became a modest hit in the U.S., reaching No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and staying on the chart for nine weeks. John released “Give Peace a Chance” on the compilation album Shaved Fish. The album peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 32 weeks.

“Give Peace a Chance” became a bigger hit in the U.K. According to The Official Charts Company, the track reached No. 2 there. It lasted 18 weeks on the chart. Meanwhile, The Official Charts Company reports Shaved Fish reached No. 8 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for 29 weeks.

“Give Peace a Chance” is still a moving rallying cry for peace many decades after Nixon resigned.