"Remember boy that your forefathers died, millions lost in a country's pride..."
The First World War began in summer 1914 and many thought it would be over by Christmas. By the time hostilities ceased in November 1918 it had claimed the lives of as many as 16 million people.
"...never mention the trenches of Belgium, when they stopped fighting and they were one..."
On Christmas Eve, many soldiers serving in the trenches on both sides of the Western Front laid down their arms and ventured into no-man's land. They mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs, even singing carols. Over the next few days troops became friendly enough to play games of football with one another.
"...a spirit stronger than war was at work that night, December 1914, cold, clear and bright..."
Inspired by this act of unity and friendship, Peter Hooton - lyricist and singer with The Farm – wrote the poem No-Man's Land in 1983. He adapted the lyrics to the poem, and with a musical score The Farm created the song 'All Together Now' in 1989.
"...countries, borders were right out of sight, they joined together and decided not to fight..."
The 1914 Christmas truce was a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent conflicts of modern history.
'All Together Now' was released in November 1990, giving The Farm a number 4 UK hit over the Christmas period.
"All together now... in no man's land"
To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Christmas truce, a spontaneous act of festive goodwill in direct contradiction of orders from high command, the song has been reworked by The Peace Collective and is released today, 15 December 2014. All profits are going to the British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust.
"I wrote All Together Now about the extraordinary events on Christmas Day 1914 when British and German troops took part in an unofficial truce. It is a story of hope and peace which should be told over and over again.
I'm so very proud that so many artists from all styles of music and the football authorities have come together to promote peace and reconciliation this Christmas." Peter Hooton, 2014
The original hand-written lyrics to No Mans Land can be seen in the exhibition The First World War - reflecting on Liverpool's Home Front in the Skylight gallery of the Museum of Liverpool from 17 December 2014, kindly lent by Peter Hooton.
Listen to the choir of Sacred Heart Primary School in Moreton sing All Together Now in the Museum of Liverpool's Atrium to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Christmas truce, 11-11.15am on Wednesday 17 December.
We wish you all a peaceful Christmas.