I Believe in Father Christmas
|"I Believe In Father Christmas"|
|Single by Greg Lake|
|from the album Works Volume 2|
|Released||November 1975 (UK)|
|Genre||Symphonic rock, Christmas music|
|Writer(s)||Greg Lake / Peter Sinfield|
|Producer(s)||Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Carl Palmer, Peter Sinfield|
"I Believe In Father Christmas" is a song by Greg Lake (most famously a member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer), with lyrics by Peter Sinfield. Although it is often categorised as a Christmas song this was not Lake's intention. Lake claims to have written the song in protest at the commercialisation of Christmas. Sinfield however, claims that the words are about a loss of innocence and childhood belief.
The song is often misinterpreted as an anti-religious song and, because of this, Lake was surprised at its success. As he stated in a Mojo magazine interview:
"I find it appalling when people say it's politically incorrect to talk about Christmas, you've got to talk about 'The Holiday Season'. Christmas was a time of family warmth and love. There was a feeling of forgiveness, acceptance. And I do believe in Father Christmas."
The song was recorded by Lake in 1974 and released separately from ELP in 1975, becoming the number two in the UK charts. It is currently his only hit solo release in the UK. A second recording done by the full trio, with a more stripped-down arrangement, was included on the 1977 album Works Volume II. It was recorded a third time in 1993, for the ELP box set The Return of the Manticore, and Lake revisited it yet again for the 2002 Sanctuary Records compilation A Classic Rock Christmas. The song has also appeared on several other ELP and Christmas compilation albums. Mostly notable of these re-releases is a 1995 EP titled I Believe in Father Christmas, which includes Lake's original single as well as the Works Volume II version.
The video for this song, the bulk of which was shot in the Sinai desert and Qumran in the West Bank, also contains shots of the Vietnam War, which has led to complaints from some that it should not be shown with light-hearted Christmas songs. These images of rocket barrages, air strikes, and mobile artillery are a violent backdrop to a peaceful-sounding song and create a hard-hitting message.
- Toyah Willcox recorded the song for her 1982 ITV television special Pop Goes Christmas. The song was featured on her 1985 compilation album Mayhem and was released as a digital single in 2012.
- Elaine Paige recorded the song for her 1986 album Christmas
- Human Drama in 1990
- Vertical Horizon in 2002
- Overview in 2008
- Canadian band Honeymoon Suite covered the song in 1989 for a compilation album titled Revellion, featuring WEA (now Warner Music Canada) recording artists. It was not featured on an HMS album until the 2006 collection Feel It Again: An Anthology which is now out of print.
- The chord progressions and much of the melody were adapted for "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1996 dark comedy song, "The Night Santa Went Crazy." The song is parodied in the style of "Black Gold" by Soul Asylum.
- Sarah Brightman recorded the song in 2008 for her album A Winter Symphony.
- Irish rock-group U2 recorded the song in 2008, for Bono's Product Red campaign to fight AIDS in Africa.
- The Swingle Singers recorded this song in 1994 for their album The Story of Christmas.
- 2008 Australian Idol winner Wes Carr recorded this song in 2009 for Sony Entertainment Australia's seasonal release Stars of Christmas.
- Six by Seven, included on UK radio station XFM's compilation "It's a Cool, Cool Christmas".
- Scottish Rock Band Big Country incorporated the song's main melody into their live performances of the song Fields of Fire.
- Icelandic Rock singer Eiríkur Hauksson performed a Christmas cover of the song with new Icelandic lyrics, recorded to the Christmas album Jól alla daga (English: "Christmas every day"), which was released in 1986.
- In 2011, it was recorded by Joe McElderry for his third studio album, Classic Christmas.
- Matt Nathanson in 2011
- Claude François
- Susan Boyle Recorded it for her 2013 Album Home For Christmas
In 2013 the song was used in Christmas adverts for supermarket Sainsbury's.
- "Greg comments about "Father Christmas"" (MP3). The Official Greg Lake Website. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "Peter comments about "Father Christmas"" (Text). The Official Peter Sinfield Website / Song Soup on Sea. Retrieved 2009-12-25.
- Adams, Owen (2006-12-22). "A song for a secular Christmas". Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 2007-12-22.
- Poruchik Kizhe
- "The Official Toyah Willcox Discography: Albums". Archived from the original on 2007-08-19. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
- "Jól alla daga - Ýmsir". Archived from the original on 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2011-12-16.