Why Can't We Be Friends? (song)

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"Why Can't We Be Friends?"
Single by War
from the album Why Can't We Be Friends?
B-side "In Mazatlan"
Released 1975
Format 7"
Recorded 1974
Length 3:50
Label ABC, United Artists
Writer(s) Papa Dee Allen, Harold Ray Brown, B. B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar, Howard E. Scott
Producer(s) Jerry Goldstein
War singles chronology
"Why Can't We Be Friends?"
"Low Rider"

"Why Can't We Be Friends?" is a song by the band War. The song has a simple structure, with the phrase "Why can't we be friends?" being sung four times after each two-line verse amounting to over forty times in under four minutes. It was played in space when NASA beamed it to the linking of Soviet cosmonauts and U.S. astronauts in 1975 for the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project.[1] "Why Can't We Be Friends?" charted at number six in 1975.[citation needed] Billboard ranked it as the No. 23 song for 1975.[2]

The song is played during the freshman hazing scene in Dazed and Confused. It also plays over the main credits in Lethal Weapon 4, was also covered in Baseketball, Bridge to Terabithia, and played in The Final Destination. A clip of the song is played as Homer Simpson's entrance music in Season 8 Episode 3 of The Simpsons, "The Homer They Fall". American pop rock band Smash Mouth covered the song on their debut album Fush Yu Mang in 1997, releasing it as their second single.

Chart positions (Smash Mouth version)[edit]

Chart (1998) Position
Dutch Singles Chart 89
New Zealand Singles Chart 39
Swedish Singles Chart 29
U.S. Billboard Alternative Songs 28


  1. ^ Gabriel San Roman (December 23, 2010). "WAR Is the Answer (and the Question) for Lonnie Jordan". OC Weekly. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1975