It is this universality that led to one of the strangest episodes of the First Great War: the Christmas truces of 1914. Those unexpected episodes leading up to Christmas of that year when British, German and to some small extent French troops left their trenches and met in New Man's Land. For a brief time in that bloody conflict men exchanged greetings, cigarettes, played football and it is said sang carols together - the one carol each knew, in their own language, was Silent Night.
I've chosen not one of the many versions of this beloved carol that is on YouTube but a song that commemorates that fragile and brief peace. It appears that Cormac MacConnell who wrote the song may have altered the year but captures the spirit of those amazing moments; and Jerry Lynch brings a sincere beauty to even the sad brutality of the last verse.
And this is for all my dear friends and all those serving overseas - may there soon be a peace that will bring you home to your families and loved ones so there is never again a need for a Christmas truce.
24 dicembre/December - La Vigilia di Natale