When I was presented with the challenge of writing a new Christmas carol for the 2014 Sloane Square Choral Society competition, the first thing I believe I said was: “I’m not writing about robins or anything twee.”
In the end, I took inspiration from the Christmas Truce of 1914, as it was to be the centennial of the event (I promise I had the idea before the Sainsbury’s advert was launched later that year). I wrote the lyrics below, and my husband (conveniently a West End musician) collaborated with me to set it to music.
I felt very privileged when we won, and our carol was performed at a special Christmas concert, although I was gutted that I couldn’t attend as I was flying in Neverland as Wendy Darling in a Paul Holman Associates Production of “Peter Pan”. I did, however, attend a rehearsal, where I had the wonderful experience of hearing my words brought to life by the beautiful choir of Sloane Square Choral Society, who gave my husband and I the warmest of welcomes, and kindest of words. A huge thank you to all involved.
A barren desolate land of blackened earth swells as a hungry sea, whose towering, spiralling waves consume as lords of villainy. On either side of this blackened sea two islands watch in hate as they must send young sailors into these ravenous waves as bait. One hundred years ago on Christmas Day, they built a bridge in such a way that seas would part and storms would cease, and all men could stand once more in peace. One hundred years ago on Christmas Day. So many sailors lost at sea under skies which cry their pain. Still ships venture from each side though nothing can they gain. The blackened ground grows darker as winters reign takes hold, though cold hearts are renewed when Christmas love is bold. One hundred years ago on Christmas Day, They built a bridge in such a way that man could walk upon the shore and forget all they were fighting for One hundred years ago on Christmas Day. They leave the islands to venture where savage sea has been, forgetting all the ship wrecks and lost sailors they have seen. Instead, after much distress, endeavour to share in mirth with only love remembered upon the ruined earth. One hundred years ago on Christmas Day, they built a bridge in such a way that we forgot such times of hate and instead sought peace to create. This bridge could stand today as it did before One hundred years ago on Christmas Day.
© Chrissy Kett 2014