Just a few weeks after collaborating with Mark Ronson on a song that took its cues from ’70s country radio, Miley Cyrus is back with another recording that finds its roots in that decade, however the aesthetic is wildly different. No, this one trades twang for sleigh bells as Miley and Ronson offer a fresh recording of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” originally released with the Plastic Ono Band in 1971.
The original song has become ubiquitous in the music world around the holidays, doubling as both a merry-making Christmas anthem and a fierce Vietnam War protest song. The latest version strips the song of its singalong quality in favor of modern production, allowing Miley to carry the folk melody with her big booming voice. She enlists the help of John and Yoko’s son Sean Ono Lennon to offer some faint backup vocals on the track, linking the new version back to its original creators.
Check out Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson, and Sean Ono Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” above, and look for Cyrus and Ronson this weekend on Saturday Night Live as the musical guests. Word has it that they are going to play this Christmas classic. Cyrus’ new album is expected to feature production from Ronson as well as more hip-hop influenced tunes produced by Mike Will Made-It.