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Christmas Truce

Geoff Writes:

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


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