Certain songs say Christmas to the music of our heart. “I Believe in Father Christmas” is one of those songs. The song is accented by the fine guitar playing and stellar voice of Greg Lake.
Recently Greg Lake was asked in Facebook, What inspired you to write this song and what did it mean to you back when you wrote it? and What does it mean to you today and what do you want people to come away with from hearing this song?
Here is his response:
“I Believe in Father Christmas” was written by myself together with Pete Sinfield. It started out with this little guitar riff which I had buzzing round in my head for weeks but no matter how I tried I just couldn’t seem to develop it into a song. 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 if thing that happens to writers when they get a few steps away from total insanity.
Anyway I told Pete about hearing this melody in my head and he said maybe it could be a Christmas song. I really don’t like most of those good time Christmas party songs but after a while I began to reflect on what Christmas really meant to me as a kid and how this had somehow got lost in the commercial feeding frenzy that has taken priority in more recent years.
Pete and I started to think about this and after a while we began to identify the core belief that children have about Christmas that really encapsulates the magic and benevolent spirit of Christmas.
Basically it was the belief that all children have in Father Christmas and in a more general sense about how the story of the nativity represents the concept of peace on earth good will to all men.
I honestly can’t remember whether it was Pete or myself who came out with the actual line but it was something we pretty much realised simultaneously. It was the magic key which unlocked the door to the song. I Believe in Father Christmas.
Merry Christmas to Everyone. Greg.
I found this beautiful collaboration filmed live in 2006 at St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, in the City of London. Greg Lake performs his 1975 classic “I Believe in Father Christmas” with Jethro Tull’ s Ian Anderson on flute, David Arch on keyboards, Florian Opahle on acoustic guitar and the church choir.
Greg Lake has a wonderful voice with memorable inflection and hauntingly wonderful tonality. He is a vital vocal energy in the music of our heart.
Lucky Man – Autobiography
I keep discovering audio books to listen to which help pass time illuminated by the spoken word. Greg Lake is the midst of writing his autobiography ‘Lucky Man’ which is projected to be completed by the end of this year. As good fortune would have it you can buy Volume 1 of his book now as a USB guitar collectible (Click the image for ordering information). Greg Lake is our reader which adds a special intimacy to the listening/fan experience.
The daybreak is your midnight; the colors have all died.
Disturbing the waters of our lives, of our lives, of our lives, lives,
Of our lives. – Greg Lake, “Take A Pebble“
Songs of a Lifetime
Greg Lake has released a live recording of his 2012 Songs of a Lifetime Tour. He is a sheer delight to witness in concert. You will be amazed when you hear him sing how you drift back to the time when King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer graced your stereo system. He typifies the feeling that you share with him in a concert hall in the quote below. We saw him a few years back with Keith Emerson at the Ridgefield Playhouse. It was a marvelous show and C’est La Vie was our highlight that evening.
The idea for the tour came about as Lake was writing his autobiography ‘Lucky Man,’ which is due toward the end of 2013. “Behind these songs there were often stories to be told and it occurred to me that the same must be true for the audience as well,” he says in a press release. “It was then that I thought of the idea of doing a series of very small intimate concerts where I could perform these songs and exchange stories with the audience, in a way reliving the time when the music we shared together really became part of our identity and in a way became the backdrop to our lives.”
View this tasty sample of one of Greg Lake’s “Songs of a Lifetime” tour concerts in this short video, filmed and edited by noted Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Archivist and Curator Tony Ortiz.
We watched the Concert One Limited, Emerson Lake & Palmer, 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert DVD the other night. It was filmed at the High Voltage Festival, on July 25th, 2010 at Victoria Park in London, England.
We found the live concert video to be an exciting visual experience. Rent or own it to learn more.
Continuing with the progressive rock music theme, MusicOfOurHeart turns its focus to the super group, Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
It was Scott Muni‘s radio show Things from England that turned me on to Emerson, Lake and Palmer in November, 1970. When he played “Take A Pebble” from their first album, I was forever convinced.
ELP is a group I have yet to experience live in concert. I saw the Carl Palmer Band perform at Toads Place in New Haven on June 1, 2006 . Carl Palmer was very personable as we spoke with him before and after the show.
Then three+ weeks later, June 24, 2006 I got to witness the Keith Emerson Band at the very same venue. It was ironic their paths did not pass closer. Keith Emerson outdid himself on Moog Synthesizer and keyboards. His concert was a very exciting event.
I then saw Keith Emerson and Greg Lake at the Ridgefield Playhouse on May 8, 2010. It was an intimate evening where both artists performed, answered questions and looked very relaxed. So this is the closest I have been yet to ELP live in concert via these three concerts.
Last I knew Emerson, Lake and Palmer were contemplating a North American Tour but nothing has materialized yet. I have my fingers crossed for a 2012 ELP US tour.
The good news is that the historic Emerson, Lake and Palmer High Voltage Festival headliner concert is now available on DVD. This extraordinary 40th anniversary reunion concert was held on July 25, 2010 at Victoria Park, in London, England. Here is a taste of that concert from the DVD promo.
I ordered this DVD on amazon today. I’ll let you know how it is later in the week ;)
Greg Lake took the time recently to answer many of his fans fan questions on his Web site. There is lots of great information to read about in the extensive Q&A. Great news Emerson and Lake plan to return to America touring again at some point. Glad to hear this as their Ridgefield, Ct. show was magical.
If the High Voltage Festival ELP reunion concert in England on July 25, 2010 goes well then we will see an Emerson, Lake and Palmer US tour also! Welcome Back My Friends! Having seen Keith Emerson Band live, Carl Palmer Band live, Asia live one Emerson and Lake live, ELP live would be the piece de resisitance.
I love the song Epitath from King Crimson’s In The Court of the Crimson King. Its a lovely haunting epic that encircles my heart and soul often. I was pleased to read Greg Lake’s interpretation of it. Allow me to share it with you.
Greg Lake wrote:
Epitaph is basically a song about looking with confusion upon a world gone mad. King Crimson had a strange ability to write about the future in an extremely prophetic way and the messages this song contains are even more relative today than they were when the song was originally written.
The walls on which the prophets wrote are cracking at the seams, upon the instruments of death, the sunlight brightly gleams. When every man is torn apart with nightmares and with dreams, will no one lay the laurel wreath when silence drowns the screams. Confusion will be my Epitaph.