Letter: Dreaming of a red Christmas

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ALTHOUGH the Germans seem to be habitual and ruthless tune-pinchers - eg 'Silent Night' and even their national anthem are imports from Austria - the adoption of Elgar's tune by the German Social Democrats ('They're playing our song', 18 September) is a special case.

They probably did it in retaliation for the adoption of a beloved and utterly German Christmas choral by the Labour Party's socialist hymn 'The Red Flag'. It goes to the lovely old tune of 'O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, wie grun sind deine Blatter' - Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, how green your leaves are.

Kornelius Hagmann

Glendale, Isle of Skye