In the display cabinet to the right of the ‘Morris Bed’ there is a small pamphlet called ‘Chants for Socialists’ published by the Socialist League in 1885. In it Morris “provided fiery new words to well-known popular songs and hymns: accessibility and familiarity were more important than musical originality”. Morris’ radical socialism and disenchantment with parliamentary politics developed from his opposition to the Tories’ support for Turkey’s war against Russian Tsarist forces in the late 1870s and the eventual betrayal of the anti-war movement by the Liberals.
John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s ‘Bed In’ (1969) was one of the most significant (public) events that took place in a bed during the last century. John and Yoko spent many days in bed in several cities during their honeymoon as a protest against the Vietnam War. As well as having a constant stream of visitors and conducting many interviews, they performed ‘Give Peace a Chance’, a simple and repetitive song written by Lennon, which became a sing-along ‘chant’ of the peace movement.
In Bed Peace, a video of John and Yoko in bed singing ‘Give Peace a Chance’, which includes footage of anti-Vietnam War protests, is projected onto the headboard of the ‘Morris Bed’ in the ‘Paradise’ gallery. When finished, a silent projection of the two posters that John and Yoko had above their bed in the ‘Bed In’, ‘Hair Peace’ and ‘Bed Peace’, is projected onto the headboard until the video starts again.