Pretty specific that one Tanya, I hear you cry. How many can there be, for such a footnote in military history. Well, as is the case whenever England play Germany at football, all other news is relegated to the sidelines. I can imagine the editors meeting for King & Country?s Boxing Day edition.

?Well, the war is still going on.?
?Temporary ceasefire at Ypres.?
?Thirty casualties in the trenches when some blokes mistook some dynamite for a Blue Peter Advent Crown.?
?Oh, and some Tommy?s had a kickabout with the Jerry?s for about twenty minutes.?
“Hold the presses.”

At least the news media did not concentrate on the literal armies of British hooligans who were ripping up Belgium. Ah, football, isn?t it. Barbed wire for goalposts, minefield for pitches. I reckon it was just a ruse to get all the lifetime Man United supporters (you know ? the ones from Surrey) out in the open where a lazy sniper could pick the bastards off. But hold Tanya ? as laudable as your cynicism is about this wartime camaraderie ? what about the tunes? Well, let?s face the music and laugh.

The reason why the game is not really representative of mankind putting aside its differences are twofold. Firstly, everyone picked their weapons up afterwards and blew ten shades of shit out of each other. Secondly the game appears to have been played between Paul McCartney and The Farm. Its quite possible that Kraftwerk sent out some of their robots to play too ? but they were too busy writing songs about exciting things like roads and calculators to pen a tune.

So on the one side we have the hopelessly na?ve Pipes Of Peace whilst on the other we have the na?vely hopeless All Together Now. Pipes of Peace has done for world peace what a song called Trumpet Of Tattooism would do for the body painting industry. Both these records were released at Christmas, feverish stabs at that peace loving time of year. The rest of the year Paul had primed his Mandolin of Mass Destruction (don?t laugh ? REM borrowed it for Losing My Religion and we all know the body count of that fracas). The video offered us wonderful scenes of Paul almost getting blown up before the kickabout, and then acting a bit of a tit in goal. All that really needs to be said about Pipes Of Peace though was said by Paul himself. It was released as a double A-side with So Bad.

Now to the Farm?s attempt at Christmas peace loving joy. All Together Now was not strictly a Christmas record. A previous version was loosed on an unsuspecting, and frankly not caring, audience about eighteen months before. But by the subtle addition of the Christmas instrument ? a sleigh bell, and nicking wholesale the idea behind Pipes Of Peace they created a Xmas number eight smash. This was cannily done by adding the words ?In no mans land? to ?All together now? to suggest that it was their cheeky Scouse idea to have a kickabout where dead bodies lay. Some respect boys. Indeed stealing the premise of Pipes Of Peace is not all The Farm ripped off Paul. All Together Now as a title bears an uncanny resemblance to the frog song ? aka ? We ALL Stand TOGETHER. NOW ? that?s a coincidence.

There is nothing wrong with exploiting the misery of others for the sake of art. I suppose if people have to write songs, the subject will not improve them. But come on, two Christmas songs about the same football game, which did not show how man can live side by side ? more that when England meet Germany sparks will fly. Still I cannot help but think of The Farm going in on a big tackle with Macca ? and maybe Elvis Costello ? and accidentally stumbling on a cluster bomb. Then they really would be All Together Now, entrails, flesh and bone sloshed into one big Scouse casserole.
In No Man?s Land.