Closing out “Christmas Carol Week” on late-night satire The Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert, seen getting his jollies with an Old Fashioned in hand, tossed it off to singers Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy and Sean Lennon for a yuletide cover of the John Lennon–Yoko Ono classic, “Happy Xmas (War is Over).”
The big-voiced Staples—best known for “I’ll Take You There,” her legendary hit with the Staples Singers—took the first verse with subdued passion, while Wilco’s Tweedy piped in a little later. A soulful seven-member choir fleshed out the chorus and back-up flourishes, while Sean Lennon shared parts of verse two. So this is Christmas! The trio and backing went all-in for the peace-loving song’s final chorus. See below for the festive clip.