1st of December and I get out "Christmas Truce Kerstbestand" by Coope
Boyes and Simpson. This is my goto Christmas record. It is a celebration
of the football match in 1914. The record is a mix of choral works in
English, French and German interspersed with Lester Simpson's acerbic
lyrics. It includes an item that reminds us of the Islamic contributions
to the armies.
Coope Boyes and Simpson have had a long history of association with
concerts at places like Passendale.
I like this record at Christmas because it is both uplifting and
grounded. It does not shirk the events - it includes a song about
Christmas 1915 when the authorities decided they did not want a repeat
and organised a pointless battle just to avoid it.
I was at a gig by Coope, Boyes and Simpson and asked Barry Coope¹
whether it was going to be reissued. He said they could not face the
hassle of the intellectual property rights involved with all the
¹ Barry Coope died last weekend. There was an obit in the Guardian this