Christmastime is a time when, traditonally, families come together. However, in coming together, we also tend to be more acutely aware of those that are missing: those we’ve lost and those that, for whatever reason, can’t be with us.
The story goes that, on Christmas Day 1914 (the first of the First World War), peace broke out. German, British and French trench troops crossed into no man’s land to exchange gifts and, famously, play games of football together. The scenes would not be repeated the following year, or any other. Whether motivated by basic humanity or naivety, those early gestures of solidarity quickly gave way to the horrors of the most brutal and senseless war in modern history.
It’s in the latter context that Jona Lewie’s greatest hit (it was only beaten to #1 by a re-release of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ shortly after the singer’s death, about as far from a fair fight as you can get) is set. Set to ironically regal horns, ‘Stop the Cavalry’ is one of the most established songs of the Christmas canon, worldwide but particularly in Britain, however it only contains one actual reference to the Season to be Jolly, in the lament of a frontline soldier: “Wish I was at home for Christmas…”
Modern wars bear little in comparison to the large-scale destruction of human life that were the World Wars. However, though we may all disagree on political issues, it’s imperative on all of us to spare a thought for military servicemen and women stationed all across the globe, far away from home and family, who risk their lives on a daily basis to help resolve conflicts not of their own making.
12 Days of Christmas: #1 - White Christmas / #2 – Popical Island / #3 – Last Christmas / #4 – Christmas in Harlem / #5 – All I Want For Christmas is You / #6 – Fuck Christmas / #7 – Merry Xmas Everybody / #8 – Ferrell & Reilly / #9 – Shit Christmas Without You / #10 / #11 / #12