Peace and Protest
Marking the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-Ins for Peace. Juliet Stevenson and Jamie Glover with poetry and music on calm, tranquility and activism.
It is 50 years since John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their famous Bed-Ins For Peace. Actors Juliet Stevenson and Jamie Glover mark the anniversary with readings and music exploring themes of calm, tranquillity and activism.
John Lennon said of peace that it “is not something you wish for; it's something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away”. What Lennon did, with his new wife Yoko Ono, was to stage two “bed-ins”, one in Montreal and one in Amsterdam; welcoming the world's press to join at their bedsides. While in Montreal, Lennon recorded his 'Give Peace a Chance' anti-war song. We also hear Yo-Yo Ma’s Donna Nobis Pacem (Give us Peace) followed by Olivier Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps, written when he was a prisoner of war in German captivity and first performed by his fellow prisoners. And in Philip Glass’s opera Satyagraha, Mahatma Gandhi makes a plea for non-violent resistance to injustice. The selection of readings includes All of these People by Michael Longley, Jerusalem by Naomi Shihab Nye and Ann Pettitt’s Walking to Greenham.
The selection of readings includes Between Waves, Heather Glover’s winning poem in the Poems for Peace competition run by the Royal Society of Literature. We also explore the peace of nature in WB Yeats’s The Lake Isle of Innisfree, in which the poet longs for the tranquillity of the island where he went as a boy, away from his adult life in the city. He imagines a life similar to that of the American Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, who lived this idyllic existence on Walden Pond. We end with Denise Levertov’s Making Peace on the need for poets to write of peace, creating an energy field more intense than war.
Producer: Fiona McLean
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
John Lennon and Yoko Ono (BBC World Service Archive)
John and Yoko at the Amsterdam Bed-In
How the World Split in Two read by Juliet Stevenson
All of These People read by Jamie Glover
Immigrant Blues read by Jamie Glover
Naomi Shihab Nye
Jerusalem read by Juliet Stevenson
Between Waves read by Juliet Stevenson
from Walking to Greenham read by Juliet Stevenson
from Prince Charming read by Jamie Glover
Homer translated by Martin Hammond
from The Iliad read by Jamie Glover
The Peace of Wild Things read by Juliet Stevenson""Added, go to My Music