Miley Cyrus has shared a lively new cover of “Happy Xmas (The War Is Over),” originally written and performed by the John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band. Cyrus recorded her updated version of the holiday-themed Vietnam protest song alongside pop hitmaker/producer Mark Ronson, who recently recruited Cyrus for a new single of his own titled, "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart." The holiday cover also includes backing vocal contributions from John and Yoko’s musical son, Sean Ono Lennon, and can be heard in full via the audio-only video above.
The latest rendition of the holiday tune, which has been covered over the years from artists ranging from Céline Dion to Josh Groban, hears Cyrus and Ronson ditching the acoustic guitar and children’s choir and going for more of a modern production style. Miley’s vocals get the song going while a dreamy synth plays alongside her. The song continues to build with a lively drum beat and sleigh bells joining in on the musical side halfway through the first verse, with Lennon’s backing vocals heard coming in from a distance at the start of the second. Miley's energy is contagious from start to finish, and she even sends listeners off at the song's climactic end with a brief little message of, “Happy Christmas Everybody.”
Cyrus did not reveal whether her latest collaboration with Ronson would appear on her next album, which is supposedly close to a possible release in early 2019, but she did give fans a head’s up on Thursday when she announced the song’s midnight release on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.” Cyrus also told Howard Stern in a recent interview that she’ll be performing her new holiday cover with Ronson on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.
“This song… is so true to where we are right now and these lyrics of ‘What have we done? Are we doing enough, are we actually active?'” she asked Stern in the interview. “All we do is complain and we don’t actually get out there and do enough in our communities. I think it’s so timely for right now.”
Didn’t they hear the news ?! War IS over ! Thank you , next! ❤️🧡💛💚💜 https://t.co/iQKLQ9dP4Q— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) December 14, 2018