Christmas In The Trenches


Transposer


             Christmas in the Trenches
By John McCutcheon
Winter Solstice (1984)
As interpreted by Joe G

Capo on 2

INTRO: D, G, A, D

   D       D/C#    Bm   Bm/A     G        G/F#   Em
My name is Frances Tolliver, I come from Liver-pool
    A             Asus4   A       G            D
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school
   D       D/C#   Bm    Bm/A   G      G/F# Em
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany, to here
  A          A        Asus4   A      D    D
I fought for King and country I love dear
      A                Asus4  A            G               D
'Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung
    Bm               Bm/A                    G                Asus4  A
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung
    D        D/C#    Bm     Bm/A  G        G/F#    Em
Our families back in England were toasting us that day
      A                  Asus4   A     D   D
Their brave and glorious lads so far a-way


      D     D/C#    Bm      Bm/A     G        G/F#  Em
I was lying with my messmate, on the cold and rocky ground
       A                  Asus4 A       G             D
When a-cross the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound
     D      D/C#   Bm        Bm/A   G        G/F#       Em
Says I, now listen up me boys, each soldier strained to hear
   A                Asus4      A      D     D
As one young German voice sang out so clear
     A              Asus4    A        G               D
He's singing bloody well you know, my partner says to me
     Bm              Bm/A                 G             Asus4  A
Soon one by one each German voice, joined in in har-mo-ny
    D       D/C#   Bm   Bm/A   G          G/F#      Em
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more
   A                    Asus4        A   D    D
As Christmas brought us respite from the war


   D       D/C#      Bm     Bm/A     G        G/F#      Em
As soon as they were finished, and a reverent pause was spent
    A             Asus4  A          G                 D
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, struck up some lads from Kent
    D         D/C#      Bm     Bm/A          G      G/F#        Em
The next they sang was "Stille Nacht", 'tis "Silent Night" says I
    A      Asus4        A           G       D
And in two tongues, one song filled up that sky
        A              Asus4     A     G                D 
There's someone comin' t'wards us, the frontline sentry cried
    Bm                   Bm/A            G                   Asus4  A
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side
    D          D/C#   Bm        Bm/A       G       G/F#     Em
His truce flag like a Christmas star shone on that plain so bright
      A                 Asus4   A      D    D 
As he bravely strode un-armed into the night


     D      D/C#    Bm     Bm/A         G    G/F#     Em
Then one by one, on either side, walked into No Man's Land
    A               Asus4  A    G                 D
With neither gun or bayonet, we met there hand to hand
   D           D/C#   Bm  Bm/A   G           G/F#  Em
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well
    A              Asus4  A        G        D
And in a flare-lit soccer game, we gave 'em hell
   A                  Asus4  A       G                D
We traded chocolates, cigarettes and photographs from home
      Bm               Bm/A          G                 Asus4  A
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own
      D       D/C#       Bm      Bm/A        G     G/F# Em
Young Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a vi-o-lin
      A             Asus4  A       D    D 
This curious and un-likely band of men


     D        D/C#    Bm   Bm/A   G          G/F#        Em
Soon daylight stole u-pon us, and France was France once more
    A                 Asus4  A      G              D
With sad farewells we each began to settle back to war
        D        D/C#    Bm    Bm/A       G          G/F#     Em
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night
      A             Asus4     G     D
Whose family have I fixed within my sights
      A                Asus4  A           G               D
'Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung
    Bm               Bm/A                  G                    Asus4  A
The frozen fields of France were warmed as Christmas songs were sung
        D          D/C#    Bm     Bm/A    G       G/F#    Em
For the walls they kept be-tween us to ex-act the work of war
         A                Asus4    A    D    D 
Had been crumbled and are gone for ever-more


      D       D/C#    Bm    Bm/A   G    G/F#   Em
Oh my name is Frances Tolliver, in Liverpool I dwell
     A                    Asus4  A            G                    D
Each Christmas come since World War One, I've learned it's lessons well
         D        D/C#     Bm   Bm/A         G        G/F#     Em
That the ones who call the shots, won't be a-mong the dead and lame
       A               Asus4     A     D
And on each end of the rifle, we're the same
            

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