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Saturday, December 22, 2007

GREG LAKE : I Believe In Father Christmas (1975)

Merry Christmas everyone! In tribute, here is Greg Lake's Xmas song that has surprisingly remained in the public consciousness year after year. Originally released as a single, it was later reissued as a track on the Emerson Lake & Palmer album "Works Volume II".
Here's the blurb from Wikipedia:

"I Believe In Father Christmas" is a song by Greg Lake(most famously a member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Although it is often categorised as a Christmas song, this was not Lake's intention. It is widely believed that Lake wrote the song in protest at the "Commercialization" of Christmas and its effect on the Middle East.
The song is often misinterpreted as an anti-religious song and, because of this, Lake was surprised at its success. He said 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 1975 and released separately from Emerson, Lake & Palmer, it is currently his only hit solo release. The original later appeared on the group's 1977 album "Works Volume II". It has also appeared on several other ELP and Christmas compilation albums. Mostly notable of these re-releases is the 1995 album titled I Believe in Father Christmas which also featured a re-recorded version of the song by the whole band.
The video for this song 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.
The instrumental riff between verses comes from the "Troika" portion of Sergei Prokofiev "Lieutenant Kije" written for a 1934 film.
In 1982, it was covered by Toyah Wilcox. In recent years it has been covered by Human Drama(1999), Vertical Horizon(2002), and The Sloppy Horse (2006). Weird Al Yankovic borrowed significantly from the melody of the song for his song "The Night Santa Went Crazy", although he used a totally different style; however, since Lake's song is itself borrows significantly from the Prokofiev melody (a popular classical Christmas piece), Yankovic may simply be borrowing from the same original source.

Song: "I Believe In Father Christmas"
Single A-side, Nov. 1975

Also released on Emerson Lake & Palmer's "Works Volume II" (Atlantic) Nov. 10, 1977

Get it here : Greg Lake - I Believe In Father Christmas

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