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Stream Yoko Ono’s ‘Happy Xmas’ B-side, ‘Listen, the Snow Is Falling’

The 1971 track has finally arrived on streaming services

By Joe Goggins

Yoko Ono and John Lennon in Cambridge, England on March 2, 1969
John Lennon plays guitar on the festive track. (Photo: Alamy)

Yoko Ono’s ‘Listen, the Snow Is Falling’ has finally been made available to stream on all major platforms today (December 16).

The 1971 track was originally the B-side to her festive collaboration with John Lennon, ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’, and features Lennon on guitar. Until now, it had been absent from streaming services. You can hear it below.

In 1993, Ono made some rare public comments on the twinkly song, which sets her undulating vocals against Lennon’s woozy slide playing. Speaking to The Tennessean, the multi-disciplinary artist said: “The first pop song — if you can say pop song — I ever wrote was ‘Listen, the Snow Is Falling.’ I did that before [she and Lennon] got together. Then, when we got together, I made it into a real pop song.”

This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of ‘Happy Xmas’ US release; it didn’t come out in the UK until November 1972. Last month, Ono appeared to break her silence on Peter Jackson’s acclaimed Beatles documentary, ‘Get Back’. She tweeted an article from Uproxx entitled ‘Beatles Fans Think ‘Get Back’ Dispels The Idea That Yoko Ono Broke The Band Up And Peter Jackson Agrees’.

Legend has long blamed Ono for the dissolution of the group, but as the Uproxx piece points out, her appearances in ‘Get Back’ – the epic, eight-hour chronicling of the famously tense sessions for ‘Let It Be’ – see her reading the newspaper quietly, sifting through her mail, and pleasantly conversing with Paul McCartney’s wife at the time, Linda.

For his part, Jackson agrees with the conclusion that Ono was not responsible for the split. “I have no issues with Yoko in the sense… I can understand from George and Paul and Ringo’s point of view, [Ono’s presence at the sessions] is like, a little strange,” he told ’60 Minutes’ in November. “But the thing with Yoko, though, that they have to say, is that she doesn’t impose herself. She’s writing letters, she’s reading letters, she’s doing sewing, she’s doing painting, sometimes some artwork off to the side. She never has opinions about the stuff they’re doing. She never says, ‘Oh, I think the previous take was better than that one.’ She’s a very benign presence and she doesn’t interfere in the slightest.”

McCartney, meanwhile, recently restated his claim that Lennon brought the band to a close. “I didn’t instigate the split. That was our Johnny,” he told The Guardian in October. “I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said I am leaving the Beatles. Is that instigating the split, or not?”