Christmas in the Trenches – written and performed by John McCutcheon kbcs is a fantastic public radio station with streaming archives of their people, Celtic, bluegrass and other demonstrates. John McCutcheon’s web page Christmas in the Trenches – John McCutcheon Xmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon My name is Francis Tolliver, I arrive from Liverpool. Two decades in the past the war was waiting for me after college. To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here I fought for King and country I really like dear. ‘Twas Xmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung, The frozen fields of France had been nevertheless, no Christmas song was sung Our families again in England had been toasting us that day Their brave and superb lads so far away. I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground When across the lines of battle arrived a most peculiar sound Says I, “Now pay attention up, me boys!” each soldier strained to hear As one particular youthful German voice sang out so apparent. “He’s singing bloody properly, you know!” my companion says to me Quickly, one particular by 1, each and every German voice joined in harmony The cannons rested silent, the fuel clouds rolled no a lot more As Christmas introduced us respite from the war As quickly as they have been completed and a reverent pause was spent “God Relaxation Ye Merry, Gentlemen” struck up some lads from Kent The following they sang was “Stille Nacht.” “Tis ‘Silent Night’,” says I And in two tongues a single song crammed up that sky “There’s a person coming toward us!” the front line sentry cried All sights were fixed on one particular lengthy figure trudging from their facet His truce flag
Video clip Rating: four / 5

25 replies on “Christmas in the Trenches – written and performed by John McCutcheon”

  1. My great uncle at the age of 21 gave his life at 10:30 am November 11th 1918, those of you that understand that date know the the importance , many thank,s for this video and god speed to frank buckle the last.

  2. Ive never heard this song before, its beautifull, my great, great uncle faught at and survived the Somme, we still have his brass cigeratte box and service medals, gonna have to rob this and put it on FB since its Christmas Eve, happy christmas one and all, stay safe 🙂

  3. Wonderful song. When all terrible things human race had done from start of time to today. Things like “Christmas truce” shows that maybe human race is not doom. There could always be hope

  4. Great song, well written and well sung! I’ve heard this song before, but I don’t think it was John who sang it. I can imagine there are many who have covered it.

  5. @caminefee110 Our local community station (WMNF) shared this – such a wonderful song your uncle has given us! FolkFaves – thx so much for posting it up!

  6. @moffa18 I just put together a little Stan Rogers clip – today would have been his 61st birthday (November 29th) “The Mary Ellen Carter” youtube (dot) com/watch?v=dG9QytMj6SU

    This song is a good uplifting one after the somber message from John…

  7. @moffa18

    Great point! I love Stan Rogers & Archie Fisher music.

    John McCutcheon is am amazingly diverse musician too…

  8. Hearing John perform this at Winfield some years ago made me an instant McCutcheon fan – it is a sublime song, performed with sensitivity and feeling. Now I never miss a chance to hear him…

  9. Especially English and Germans should listen closely to this song.

    It’s about time to put aside all those stupid prejudices and start a new chapter in english-german relations.

  10. You miss the point, this is about small part of an obscene and perverted event in the history of man. Granted a spot of light in Hell, a spot of light no less. Try listening to “The Green Fields of France”

  11. This song is so powerful, especially considering how brutal the war was. Fighting in mud up to your knees or higher, living and dying in your own excrement. None of us can imagine what it was like that night.

  12. !!! I heard this song once years ago, and wanted to find it but didn’t know the name of it! I’m so happy and blessed that I just found this by mistake. Beautiful — It’s Christmas in July!

  13. This song is true because allot of men have died to preserve our countries freedom and they need not be forgotten even though most of them have most likely been.

  14. To those who fought and never came home to celebrate Christmas again … rest in peace. World War One was one long exercise in futility and stupidity, and should never have been fought in the first place … but it is just a double tragedy, that the decent men who celebrated Christmas together at Ypres in 1914 were punished so harshly by foolish commanders who thought “fraternization” was “bad for the war effort”. Maybe so, but it was good for humanity. Don’tlet the “forgotten war” be forgotten.

  15. this is actually a true story our pastor’s dad had been in ww1 and he had told him so for our Christmas eve sermon he told us this story.

  16. Thank you for this classic song. It and “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” are my favorite anti-war songs. It’s great to hear it again. Peace in 2010 !!!

  17. Great song from a wonderful entertainer – a powerful peace message – it brings to mind a line from Joni Mitchell’s wistful song, California:

    “Sitting in a park in Paris France

    Reading the news and it sure looks bad

    They won’t give peace a chance

    That was just a dream some of us had

  18. I’ve met John many years ago on the Great Peace March. This was just one of the songs he performed for free just to say “thank you” to all we were trying to do back in 1985.

    Memories… 🙂

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