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11 November 2012

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Pirate Laddie

.As You Were
Posted in History by Greg Ross on August 12th, 2012

A successful concert with mouth-organs, combs, and tissue-paper and penny whistles was given by the [British] Guards in the front-line trenches near Loos. They played old English melodies, harmonized with great emotion and technical skill. It attracted an unexpected audience. The Germans crowded into their front line -- not far away -- and applauded each number. Presently, in good English, a German voice shouted across:

'Play "Annie Laurie" and I will sing it.'

The Guards played 'Annie Laurie,' and a German officer stood up on the parapet -- the evening sun was red behind him -- and sang the old song admirably, with great tenderness. There was applause on both sides.

-- Philip Gibbs, Now It Can Be Told, 1920


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