Twas Christmas In The Trenches


The name is Francis Tolliver.
I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting
For me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders,
To Germany to here;
I fought for King and country, I love dear.

Twas Christmas in the trenches
Where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were cold
No Christmas songs were sung.
When across the line of battle,
Each soldier strained to hear
As one young German voice sang out so clear.

He's singing bloody well ya know,
A soldier said to me.
Soon one by one each German voice
Joined in in harmony.
The cannons rested silent,
And the gas cloud rolled no more
As Christmas won us respite from the war.

Twas Christmas in the trenches
Where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France had thawed
A Christmas song was sung.
The next they sang was Stillenacht.
Tis Silent Night says I,
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky.

There's someone coming towards us,
The front line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure
Trudging from the side.
His truce flag like a Christmas star -
Shone up the Plain so bright,
As he bravely strode unarmed into the night.

Then one by one from either side
Walked into no-man's land.
With neither gun nor bayonet
We met there hand-to-hand.
We shared some secret brandy,
And we wished each other well.
And in a flare lit soccer game we gave 'em hell.

Twas Christmas in the trenches
Where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warm
As Christmas songs were sung.
We traded chocolate, cigarettes, and
Photographs from home
Of families spending Christmas all alone.

Then daylight stole upon us
And France was France once more.
With sad farewells we each prepared
To settle back to war.
But the question haunting every knight
Who lived that wondrous night.
Whose family have I fixed within my sight?

Twas Christmas in the trenches
Where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed
As songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they built between us,
To exact the wrath of war,
Had been crumbled and forgot, forevermore.

Oh my name is Francis Tolliver.
In Liverpool I dwell.
Each Christmas come since WWI
I learnt its lesson well.
That the ones who call the shots won't be
Among the dead and maimed.
And on each end of the rifle, we're the same.

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