For Your Consideration: An Alternative Christmas Song

Photo by Nosiuol on Unsplash

Whether you believe that Christmas is a religious holiday, an opportunity to score some sweet corporate swag from Santa, or just-another-day, I think you’ll agree that this time of year should be a time of peace, love, hope and unity.

A time for us to put aside our petty differences, acknowledge our shared humanity and agree, regardless of faith, that Die Hard is most definitely a Christmas movie.

Sadly, this is usually not the case.

Whether its a relative declaring that no Christmas movie would featured a protracted sequence in which a man pulls bloodied shards of glass from his feet, or whether its being stuck behind someone taking way too long to use the self-serve check-outs, Peace on Earth and Goodwill To All during the festive season is a big ask.

“He even uses Christmas themed sticky tape to defeat the bad guy!”
“Mate, I just asked you for the time.”

Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels.com

Throw a global pandemic, social upheaval and a collective uncertainty about the future into the mix and it feels impossible. But it can be done. It’s been done before. In circumstances more dire than those we currently find ourselves in.

And, fortunately for us (and this post), it was commemorated in song.

Released in 1990 All Together Now by The Farm reached number 4 on the British singles charts. It’s lyrics revolve around the 1914 Christmas Truce of World War One and-

“…the working classes being sent to war. People across a divide who probably had more in common with each other than the people who had sent them to war in the first place.”

Peter Hooton, Lyricist
https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-11902124

Prompted by a suggestion from Pope Benedict XV regarding a temporary pause in the war, a series of unofficial ceasefires occurred along the Western Front in December 1914.

During this period, German and British troops laid down their guns, climbed from the trenches and gathered together in the space between them, dubbed No Man’s Land.

They sang Christmas songs, ate together, swapped gifts, played some football and discovered that the men they were trying to kill mere hours before were, surprise, surprise, just like them.

https://www.theworldwar.org/explore/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/christmas-truce

Like John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War is Over) before it, All Together Now is political statement, anti-war protest song, Christmas carol and and rallying cry for peace rolled into one song.

The difference is that All Together Now does this to the chord progression from Pachelbel’s Canon in D (aka The Wedding Song).

This.

And adds an electronic dance beat.

Which, on paper, sounds terrible but, in my ear-holes, sounds great.

Therefore, I would like to nominate All Together Now by The Farm for your Christmas playlist consideration.

Sure, the Christmas Truce didn’t end the war.

And, yes, this song could be a bit goofy to some and better known as a football anthem to others (at least in the UK), but its melancholy yet hopeful feel and its reference to a real-life Christmas miracle make it, for me, the perfect musical accompaniment to a time of year which should be about peace, love, unity and goodwill to all, but is, more often than not, about the struggle to feel and achieve those things.

RESOURCES AND FURTHER READING:

LYRICS: https://genius.com/The-farm-all-together-now-lyrics

https://www.theworldwar.org/explore/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/christmas-truce

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-11902124

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/christmas-truce-of-1914

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Together_Now_(The_Farm_song)

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