Following the release of the new version of The Farm’s iconic song All Together Now by The Peace Collective, the Museum of Liverpool is to display the original hand-written lyrics of the song by Peter Hooton, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Christmas truce.
On 17 December, the poem No Man’s Land, written by Hooton in 1983, will go on display in the Museum’s First World War: reflecting on Liverpool's Home Front exhibition.
To mark the occasion, a choir from Sacred Heart Catholic Junior School in Moreton, led by teachers Anna Torpey and Hannah Mortimer will perform the song, which was first released in November 1990.
On Christmas Eve 1914, in a symbolic moment of peace and humanity, many soldiers serving in the trenches on both sides of the Western Front laid down their arms and ventured into no man’s land. Over the next few days they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs, singing carols and even playing football.
Inspired by this act of unity and friendship amidst one of the most violent conflicts of modern history, Peter Hooton – lyricist and singer with The Farm – wrote the poem No Man’s Land in 1983. He adapted the poem, and with an accompanying musical score the song All Together Now was released in November 1990, becoming a number 4 hit for the band.
Paul Gallagher, Acting Senior Curator of Urban History at the Museum of Liverpool said:
“There are many people who will be unaware of the moving story behind this famous song. This year marks 100 years since the Christmas truce, so it’s fantastic that we are able to put the story in perspective by displaying Peter Hooton’s original poem within our First World War exhibition.
“Many of the soldiers who shook hands on no man’s land in 1914 did not live to see another Christmas. It’s particularly poignant at this time of year that we remember this brief moment of peace, and having the choir from Sacred Heart performing All Together Now will be very special indeed.”
Commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the Christmas truce - itself a direct contradiction of orders from high command - All Together Now has been reworked by The Peace Collective with all profits going to the British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust.
Peter Hooton said:
“I'm really pleased that the original hand-written lyrics to No Mans Land are going on display in the Museum of Liverpool. They were written as a poem and then became lyrics to the song No Man's Land, which The Farm performed in the 1980s. When some of the lyrics were used for All Together Now three verses were lost to shorten the song to make it into a single so it’s good that the public can now see the full version of the lyrics in this wonderful museum”.
There were numerous simultaneous truces along the Western Front. Some soldiers used the ceasefire for the sombre task of retrieving the bodies of those who had fallen in no man’s land.
Whilst hostilities ceased in some areas, bitter fighting continued elsewhere. The 1stBattalion Liverpool King’s Regiment fought at La Bassée, France on Christmas Day. They lost two men, with two wounded.
First World War exhibitions and displays at the Museum of Liverpool
Running until 12 July 2015, First World War: reflecting on Liverpool’s Home Front explores some of Liverpool’s lesser-known stories of the First World War, asking visitors to look at this period of history from a different perspective.
Featuring a special display about Liverpool’s Black and Minority Ethnic families during the First World War, other key themes which have remained untold over the last century will be examined using historical and previously unseen images.
With more than 100,000 men from Merseyside serving, the dramatic shift in social dynamics undoubtedly had an impact on many areas of daily life, such as women’s struggles to manage funds, strikes for wartime wages and working conditions, and a sustained commitment to fundraising.
This thought-provoking exhibition will support the Museum of Liverpool’s First World War items already on display in the City Soldiers Gallery and From Waterfront to Western Front exhibition.
The Museum of Liverpool has teamed up with the Hugh Baird University Centre to create a unique Christmas window display to commemorate the First World War.
Museum of Liverpool
The Museum of Liverpool is one of the country’s most visited museums outside of London. It is the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century, demonstrating Liverpool’s unique contribution to the world. The first national museum devoted to the history of a regional city, it showcases popular culture while tackling social, historical and contemporary issues. It has attracted more than two million visitors since opening in July 2011. The prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2013 was awarded to the Museum for its commitment to human rights as well as its work with children and families from all backgrounds.
The Museum has received generous support from several major funders, and grants from trusts and foundations, corporate support and individual donations. Major funders include the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS),Garfield Weston Foundation and the Clore Duffield Foundation.
The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) was responsible for the sustainable economic development and regeneration of England’s Northwest and had five key priorities: Business, Skills and Education, People and Jobs, Infrastructure and Quality of Life.
The European Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF in the North West is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government – for further information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf.
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.5billion across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk
About National Museums Liverpool
National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract more than 2.7 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.