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I Believe in Father Christmas: Greg Lake

Updated on May 17, 2020

Greg Lake's I Believe in Father Christmas

Released in 1975, I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake has become a perennial Christmas favourite, both for radio stations and the public.

It is also my favourite among many Yuletide pop songs that were recorded in the 1970s. It proved very popular in the UK, but across the other side of the Atlantic, it was largely ignored.

Its mixture of familiar Christmas sounds overlaid with both pop and classical styling make it somewhat unique among the most well-known seasonal songs of the Seventies.

It's really not surprising as Greg Lake was one third of the highly successful group, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, which was famous for its progressive fusion of rock and classical music.

Up until now this track has been Greg Lake's only single release and, hopefully, you will enjoy the song as much as I do.

Image: Santa Claus: Buy This at

The Official Video

Unusually for a video about Christmas, there is no snow, no sparkling lights, no lit tree, but there is a lot of sand and sunshine.

This is because Greg Lake decided to film the video in Israel, the birthplace of Jesus. Much of the footage is recorded in and around the Sinai Desert with local Bedouins serving as extras.

In addition, some controversy surrounds the video due to the inclusion of film from the Vietnam War, showing air missile attacks and warfare in general. While disconcerting for some, the final moments of the video sum up the reasons for these images.

Included here is one of the versions of the video.

Discussing the Creation of the Song : Greg Lake & Peter Sinfield

Greg Lake and the song's lyricist, Pete Sinfield, are featured here talking about the creation and evolution in the making of I Believe in Father Christmas, including a discussion about the song's video.

A Secular Christmas Song?

Owen Adams of The Guardian newspaper in the UK surmises that I Believe in Father Christmas is a Christmas song for atheists. A serious or satircal viewpoint? Read on...

A Song For a Secular Christmas

Greg Lake's 1975 single (kept from the Christmas number one slot by Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody) I Believe in Father Christmas, could well be the sole atheist festive hit.

About Your Author

With each article, Richard invites you to step into his world of music, television and entertainment. He will introduce you to British Glam Rock, share The 20 Scariest Film Scores Ever? and even give you an up close look at some classic actors such as Christopher Lee as Dracula.

For a complete list of Richard's articles, please visit Richard's profile.

© 2011 Richard

Have You Heard This Greg Lake Song Before?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I've always like ELP, but I don't like this song at all. "they told me a fairy story

      'till I believed in the israelite." It sounds more like an anti Christmas song to me. It's also one of the most negative songs that I've ever heard. I don't like it at all.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Thanks for introducing me to Greg Lake and his song "I Believe in Father Christmas". Even though my musical knowledge definitely dates back to the 70s, I don't recall ever hearing this song before. Happy Holidays to you!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      8 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This is one of my favourite Christmas songs, and did you know Greg Lake also went to my High School (a handful of years before me). Nicely done, a New Year blessing for you.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 

      8 years ago from New Zealand

      I agree, this is the best Christmas song. I was wondering how you were going to make an entire page about it, and now I am really impressed. Blessed.

    • katemiya profile image


      8 years ago

      This is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs. Thanks for sharing your knowledge about it with us!

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 

      8 years ago

      I had totally forgotten about this song. Thanks for bringing memories back :) I do believe in Father Christmas!

    • yayas profile image


      8 years ago

      I've never heard I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake, before. This is a truly inspired song, in my honest opinion. I don't see how anyone could think of it as an atheist song, though. Thanks for posting it. I'll be back to listen to it often, I'm sure. I cannot imagine why it never took off in the US. It is a very beautiful song.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      8 years ago from Northern California

      Wonderful, thought-provoking lyrics...

      They said there'll be snow at Christmas

      They said there'll be Peace on Earth

      But instead it just kept on raining

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      8 years ago from So Cal

      This is not a well-known song in our area but Emerson, Lake, and Palmer is one of my husbands favorite groups as well as the individual artists. Angel blessed for sharing this "new" song.

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 

      8 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Grew up listening to ELP and this is a wonderful Christmas song by Greg Lake. I have heard this song played many times on the radio during the Christmas season.

      Very nice lens!


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