Over the next four years there will be many commemorations of the key events of World War One but none is quite so touching as the series of unofficial ceasefires which took place along the Western Front in the days leading up to Christmas 1914. German and British soldiers began to call out to each other from the trenches, exchanging greetings and songs. As Christmas approached and trust grew, these men came out into ‘No Man’s Land’ to talk, exchange food, tobacco and souvenirs and to sing carols. It also allowed opportunity to bury the dead. Evidence from soldiers’ letters home also confirms the legend that football matches took place between opposing men; The Lancashire Fusillers are reported to have played the Germans near Le Touquet using a ration tin for a ball! These events have collectively become known as ‘The Christmas Truce.’ Although they happened rarely in later years, they were then a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the worst events of human history.
Here at Dimensions we are commemorating the Christmas Truce with a brand new song for schools. Gary Cunliffe, newest member of the team, has written some moving lyrics about the experiences of young men who found themselves in such terrible conditions so soon after signing up and marching away gloriously to war. With music written by Elaine Sutton, the song tells the story of one group of men who lay their guns aside to meet the enemy and share rations, gifts and friendship. Many such truces carried over into Christmas Day itself when the legendary football matches were said to have taken place. We’d like to think that we have written a brand new Christmas carol with this song!
A male voice choir from Preston and children from Belmont Primary School, Bolton, have recorded the song. Many of the men are proud to have served in the armed forces themselves or have military connections, and Belmont is a Dimensions’ school with a fine tradition of singing. We hope to promote this new song nationwide in coming weeks and you can download the song for free here.
Download the song and lyrics
Fill in the form below and click the “Free Download” button to reveal the download link.
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Our Dimensions schools, of course, will get extra exclusive downloads of different versions of the song to use for performance in their own Christmas concerts on this 100th anniversary of the truce.
So please tell your friends and contacts about this new song. We want to share it with everyone. We want everyone to hear it. You can also view the accompanying video here http://vimeo.com/111786523