And men stood waiting in the trenches, Then I thought that I was dreaming The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung. It's for us, to find it, here. Star’s are burning, burning bright, Soon one by one each German voice joined in in harmony. "All is calm and all is bright" By a German soldier singing Crossing into No-Man’s-Land, And in two tongues one song filled up that sky. Stood there talking, laughing, singing, The song was "Silent Night" The Christmas guns began to bark. We traded chocolates, cigarettes and photographs from home The gas cloud rolled no more Some sang song’s while others were quiet, Stood the German soldier Told the guns, prepare to fire. The frozen field of France were still, no Christmas song was      sung. They also sang Christmas songs together. As Christmas brought us respite from the war” This is from the beginning of John McCutcheon’s Christmas in the Trenches. Until one by one each man became A song that we all knew, Though I did not know the language Says I “Now listen up me boys”, each soldier strained to hear Sometimes when performing the piece, he tells the story of a group of former World War I soldiers attending his concerts in Europe just to hear that song. Was blown to hell again, But for just one fleeting moment We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well their brave and glorious lads so far away. In the cold and in the dark, (See http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Christmas_truce.) Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more. [Outro] For right there in my sight All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side. And Fritz showed me a faded photo, A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs … The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. The song was “Silent Night”, Then I heard my buddy whisper, Fritz brought out a German band, The Christmas truce was a series of widespread but unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front around Christmas 1914. And the battlefield where heaven stood Each Christmas come since World War One I’ve learned it’s lessons well. In the week leading up to the holiday, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. ‘Cause I’d die if I was wrong A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” And the battlefield where heaven stood The Christmas Morning Truce. The holiday truce experience was not total; in some areas fighting continued. when across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound. For the walls they’d kept between us to exact the work of war Then the devil's clock struck midnight To see us find a better way, Then the devil’s clock struck midnight Then the fear and doubt surrounded me But I stood up in my trench [Verse 2] The Christmas Truce is memorialized in the following songs: “Belleau Wood,” sung by Garth Brooks; songwriters Joe Henry and Garth Brooks (1997). Officers on both sides made it clear that a repeat would be met with the strictest punishment. What A Lovely War - YouTube For a Christmas truce had been declared By both sides of the fight As we lay there in our trenches The silence broke in two By a German soldier singing A song that we all knew Though I did not know the language The song … By both sides of the fight Albert … Men lay dosing in the trenches, It was Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung. Because I'd die if I was wrong Garth Brooks wept during his live holiday special on Sunday while performing a rare full version of Belleau Wood based on the 1914 Christmas truce of World War I. Christmas Eve in 1914, It’s for us to find it here, “Christmas in the Trenches” was written and sung by John McCutcheon (1984). It tells the story of the 1914 Christmas Truce between the British and German lines on the Western Front during … The Christmas Truce … "Christmas in the Trenches" is a ballad from John McCutcheon's 1984 album Winter Solstice. So they withdrew us from the trenches, Out of the violence a silence, then a song. Looked out across our football park, No, heaven's not beyond the clouds Editor’s Note: This article was published in The Remnant in 2006 after having first appeared on the Your Guide to 20th Century History website. Through the barbed wire, mud and shell holes, Another’s voice joined in The original song … In Liverpool I dwell. I come from Liverpool. Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school. Fritz brought out cigars and brandy, But I stood up in my trench Then the fear and doubt surrounded me Rolling fags and playing bragg, On Christmas Eve 1914, Allied troops watched from the trenches as German soldiers lit their Christmas trees. Find a better way as one young German voice sang out so clear. The following year, the British infantry was ordered to “maintain a slow gun fire on the enemy’s trenches” during the holiday. It’s just beyond the fear, No, heaven’s not beyond the clouds “He’s singin’ bloody well you know,” my partner says to me. Out of the violence a silence, then a song. The message came, prepare offensive, Then one by one, on either side walked into no-mans-land An inspiration. “Christmas 1914,” written and sung by Mike Harding (1977). ‘Neath the falling flakes of white As if he seemed to say A Christmas Truce at the World War I Front. Tommy brought corned beef and fags, The guns fell silent; soldiers declared a temporary truce and celebrated Christmas with each other. A real story. (http://youtu.be/B5on4WK1MpA). But for just one fleeting moment A German soldier steps into No Man’s … Guns were lying still and quiet, More More. and on each end of the rifle we’re the same. As if he seemed to say As we lay there in our trenches For an in-depth narrative about the Christmas Truce, see Weintraub, Silent Night: The Story of The World War I Christmas Truce.). “Belleau Wood” was the 14th track from his 1997 album Sevens. ... John's lyrics from this 1984 song capture the spirit of that Christmas … Out of the violence a silence, then a song. It was Christmas Eve, 1914. There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps, while several meetings ended in carol-singing. And next day in 1914, Something moved in No-Man’s-Land, That the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. As the moon shone down on No-Man’s-Land. Christmas 1914 – Truce Song was composed by talented Catherine Rushton in 2004. Then across the frozen battlefield A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, peace. With sad farewells we each began to settle back to war. Christmas truce At least as famous as the story of the carol’s origin is that of its role in the Christmas truce of 1914. Here’s hoping we both live Heaven’s not beyond the clouds “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” struck up some lads from Kent. In the mud of No-Man’s-Land, The answer seemed so clear But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night And through the dark there came a Soldier. After Christmas Day, the soldiers returned to trying to kill each other. 'Neath the falling flakes of white They met in No Man’s Land and shared Christmas treats and beverages. It is reproduced here with the permission of the author. His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright Shyly stood there shaking hands, We’ve seen it depicted recently in a commercial for a UK supermarket chain. Young Sanders played his squeeze box and they had a violin A singer of the hymn, Then I thought that I was dreaming The answer seemed so clear Albert Moren. A singer of the hymn [Verse 4] Heaven's not beyond the clouds Over the top, we’re going tonight. They’d both lost the will to fight, Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 - Cantus on AllMusic - 2008 We shared out all the grub and drink, ; Jennings and Brewster, The Century, p. “Belleau Wood” was the 14th track from his 1997 album Sevens. And far away behind the lines, “Whose family have I fixed within my sights?” And all along the Western Front, For days after, no one fired, At Christmas time in 1914 an amazing event occurred at numerous places along the trench lines on the Western Front. Then, they heard the song ”Stille Nacht,” the German version of “Silent Night.” When the Germans finished their song… The Christmas Truce of 1914 on the Western and Eastern Fronts may well represent the last time that the face of humanity would been seen in what was rapidly becoming the ultimate nightmare of the industrial revolution. Looked out across our football park, Then I heard my buddy whisper The cannons rested silent. And I began to sing along, Then across the frozen battlefield Carrying a white flag in his hand. Flares were burning, burning bright, A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs … Not one shell disturbed the night, Allied and German soldiers suspend arms for a night of song and hope. A village dog began to bark. (http://youtu.be/kjXa7DnaGjQ), Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence Out of the violence a silence, then a song. One of the best-known songs about the Christmas Truce is John McCutcheon’s "Christmas in the Trenches." My name is Francis Tolliver. … A century ago. as he bravely strode, unarmed, into the night. Peace at the war front on Christmas day during World War I. It was “a beautiful moonlit night, frost on the ground, white almost everywhere,” said Pvt. To pass away this Christmas night, Although the songs about the truce ignore some of the nuances of the historical record, there is only so much one may do in a three-minute song. Stood the German soldier After 1915, due to the increasing death tolls and the use of poison gas that caused the belief that the other side was less than human, there were no similar efforts. The story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 is often considered “played out,” especially in historical circles, but it is a compelling tale; its best and most impactful role is on the young minds of … For a Christmas truce had been declared A soldier writes in his diary about the events of the famous Christmas Truce during the first year of World War 1. When they beat us at the football, It was Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung. Until one by one each man became Out of the violence a silence, then a song. Over Belleau Wood that night ABOUT THE PROGRAM All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, peace. The silence broke in two And all along the Western Front, A song that we all knew The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. (Id. this curious and unlikely band of men. Though I did not know the language had been crumbled and were gone forever more. these sons and fathers far away from families of their own. ABOUT THE PROGRAM All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. We built a soldier's truce on the front line Their singer was a lad of 21 We begged another song before the dawn And sitting in the mud and blood and fear He sang again the song all longed to hear Silent night, … with neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand. Over Belleau Wood that night [Verse 1] Most accounts suggest the truce began with carol singing from the trenches on Christmas Eve, “a beautiful moonlit night, frost on the ground, white almost everywhere”, as Pvt. The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Tommy brought some Christmas pudding, By both sides of the fight Sent fresh troops to take our places, And he raised his hand and smiled at me [Verse 3] As we lay there in our trenches And all along the Western Front, Sent us far behind the lines, As soon as they were finished a reverent pause was spent. and in a flare-lit soccer game we gave ’em hell. Was blown to hell again … And, it is even said that the English played soccer against the Germans. This allowed them to exchange greetings of the season. Christmas 1914. Use one of the services below to sign in to PBS: You've just tried to add this video to My List.But first, we need you to sign in to PBS using one of the services below. (http://youtu.be/LRaLGq3F2_4). Out of the violence a silence, then a song. As they watched the German trenches, Remember, the trench lines were close enough that the opposing troops could yell back and forth. [Bridge] Some lay thinking of their families, The Christmas song Silent Night has long been a cherished part of our shared culture — in 2011 it was even granted UNESCO cultural heritage status. I fought for King and country I love dear. It's just beyond the fear And the skies lit up again The next they sang was ‘Stille Nacht.” “Tis ‘Silent Night'” says I For Old Fritz and Tommy Atkins, In areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. as Christmas brought us respite from the war. Merry Christmas. Another's voice joined in Christmas is for sharing. Oh, the snowflakes fell in silence It has almost 13 000 views … “All is calm and all is bright” They told him they had taken part in the Truce … By a German soldier singing And the skies lit up again Garth Brooks recently appeared on his special holiday live session where he performed a rare full version of the song Belleau Wood. On Christmas … My name is Francis Tolliver. The song is originally based on the 1914 Christmas truce of World War 1. The Germans sang out from their trenches the song, Silent Night. The 1997 song "Belleau Wood" by American country music artist Garth Brooks is a fictional account based on the Christmas truce. Ten years later she published this soulful, folk song online at a friend’s request. This song describes an event from World War I commonly referred to as The Christmas Truce. Men stood waiting, in the trenches, For right there in my sight To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here, The silence broke in two Here's hoping we both live to see us Then from both sides men came running, The truce is dramatised in the 2005 French film Joyeux Noël (English: Merry Christmas … About All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Our families back in England were toasting us that day, The battle described in the song’s lyrics is not the Battle of Belleau Wood; it is instead a fictional account based on the Christmas truce phenomenon of 1914. Although similar isolated truces occurred in 1915, this phenomenal event, as experienced in 1914, was never repeated because of the very negative reaction of the officer corps. And he raised his hand and smiled at me http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Christmas_truce. “There’s someone commin’ towards us,” the front-line sentry cried. For an in-depth narrative about the Christmas Truce, see Weintraub, Silent Night: The Story of The World War I Christmas Truce.) The Christmas Truce 1914 From Oh! For a Christmas truce had been declared 51.) The Christmas Truce is memorialized in the following songs: “Belleau Wood , ” … The Christmas guns began to bark, I was lyin’ with my mess-mates on the cold and rocky ground Of a brown haired girl, back in Berlin. 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