It should come as no surprise that Sabaton would unleash yet another brilliant track that has both impact and magically majesty in its tune. Released on YouTube on October 29th, 2021 “Christmas Truce” has exceeded more than 3 million views worldwide.
For those who don’t know, the Christmas Truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that occured along the western front in World War I around Christmas in 1914. It happened 5 months after the tension began and involved troops from the UK, French Republic, Austria-Hungary, German, and Russian Empires.
Explosions and gunfire had come to a halt, bringing an eerie silence in favour of celebrating the Christmas tradition. During this time, Soldiers on both sides began to emerge from the trenches and shared with one another gestures of good faith including singing Christmas Carols on Christmas eve. They wished one another Merry Christmas in their enemies’ native tongue, shook hands, and even exchanged gifts of cigarettes and plum puddings. Christmas Trees were lit, and a friendly match of Soccer was had on the once bloodied no man’s land. However, some men chose to retrieve the bodies of their comrades, rather than partake in the gift-giving being had.
It never happened again but, became defining proof that beneath the bloody brutalities of war, the essentials of Humanity persevered.
It was a miracle of mankind to show, despite being mortal enemies at the time, that love through Christmas could make men friends, even for a short period.
The introduction is a mixture of “Carol of the Bells” by composer Mykola Leontovych performed by Joakim Broden on piano before it ascends into a powerful yet melodic guitar that is absolutely divine. Joakim’s solemn playthrough of this tune, his keyboard skills often unseen save for live performances, builds the intensity and emotion behind this vivid memory.
As a history monger, or merely a student, you quickly remember the lesson through an infectious, and heart-wrenching tune. To deny yourself then tears this tune evoke is to deny your own humanity. It’s a perfectly orchestrated video that skillfully depicts not only the horrors those soldiers endured but, the brief glimpse of hope in a time shadowed by bloodshed.
It’s realistic and artistically exquisite with historical depictions and imagery in full colourization that bring memories and lessons back into full light. It fully illustrates the impact that the silence had on the battlefield when, on Christmas, one man proposed a temporary truce. It’s hard not to be filled with emotion when this music video is both tear-jerking and moving, proving that Sabaton can produce song after song with powerful evocation.
Lines like “And today we’re all brothers, tonight we’re all friends. Our moment of peace in a war that never ends,” run through you like a hot knife, bringing a harsh reflection to the truth being spoken. It was a brief moment of not only peace but joy and forgiveness. Unit in the face of absolute chaos.
This video does not deny nor stray from the tragedy of the War but, it shows unity and faith in mankind no matter the differences of their nations at the time. It shows the tiny glimmer of hope that was marked along a bloody timeline in our history.