The 100th Anniversary of WWI’s Christmas Truce: the Boston Pops’ “A Soldier’s Carol” and “Joyeux Noel”

December 24, 2014
Vintage photograph of troops playing soccer
Vintage photograph of  World War I troops playing soccer during the unofficial Christmas Truce, December 24, 2014 – Image (c)

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Today marks the 100th anniversary of  the Christmas Truce of 1914, in the midst of World War I.

Acording to Wikipedia: The Christmas truce (German, Weihnachtsfrieden and French,Trêve de Noël) was a series of widespread but unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front around Christmas 1914. In the week leading up to the holiday, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. In areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs.

Boston Pops’ Commemoration: “A Soldier’s Carol”

To commemorate the anniversary of the 1914 Christmas Truce, the Boston Pops commissioned A Soldier’s Carol: The Christmas Truce of 1914, a narrated orchestral work by Broadway writers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. According to WBUR’s Artery blog, “The team clearly has a thing for historic tales, as evidenced by their Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime. Also (for those of us, perhaps, from a certain generation) Ahrens helped create Schoolhouse Rock! the now iconic animated educational TV series from the 1970s.”

Click below to watch A Soldier’s Carol,  performed on December 4 during Holiday Pops.

Free screening of Joyeux Noel, at First Parish at 7 pm on Friday, December 26

A 'still' from the 2005 film Joyeux Noel
A ‘still’ from the 2005 film Joyeux Noel

Nominated for several cinema awards including the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2005, Joyeux Noel, a feature film about the 1914 Christmas Truce, will be shown at 7 pm on Friday, December 26, in the Common Room. Using the Elm Street entrance, First Parish is fully accessible, and the screening is free.




Click here to read about Bedford during World War I



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