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Sunday, 5 January 2014

‘What Christmas really meant to me’: Greg Lake on his often-misunderstood Yuletide classic b

Admittedly, it would probably have been better if I had found this post a week earlier, but it is still very interesting. Well, I think so anyway...

Greg Lake says “I Believe in Father Christmas” came to him almost by accident, when he started singing a familiar Yuletide standard over a newly written riff that stubbornly refused to go away.
“No matter how I tried, I just couldn’t seem to develop it into a song,” Lake says. “It actually started to drive me crazy, and one day I found myself humming the tune to ‘Jingle Bells’ over the riff. This is the sort of thing that happens to writers when they get a few steps away from total insanity.”
He confided all of this to writing partner Peter Sinfield, who worked with Lake both in King Crimson and in Emerson Lake and Palmer. Sinfield suggested that he adapt the music into a Christmas song, but Lake admits he was cool to the idea — ironic since, in 1975, the track would become a No. 2 1975 solo hit on the UK charts before finding a home on ELP’s 1977 Works Volume II album. Even today, its message of anti-commercialism is sometimes misunderstood as being anti-Christmas. Lake says it’s anything but.

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