“I Believe in Father Christmas” is a song by English musician Greg Lake 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.Released in 1975, the song reached number two on the UK Singles Chart.
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 instrumental riff between verses comes from the “Troika” portion of Sergei Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé Suite written for a 1934 Soviet film, Lieutenant Kijé, added at Keith Emerson’s suggestion.
Lake’s manager announced that he had died on Wednesday the 7 December 2016, and so 2016 claims another extremely fine musician. Lake was instrumental in the formation of the group King Crimson but later became know as one part of ELP (Emerson, Lake and Palmer), and for anyone who wants to hear the trio in their prime give a listen to “Fanfare for the Common Man” below, recorded at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal in 1977.