Keith Emerson – one third of the 1970’s Prog Rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer – died in March this year. This morning, it was announced that a second third – Greg Lake – had also died.
Lake was also known for his solo recordings. His most well-known piece was probably his 1975 hit, “I Believe in Father Christmas”. The lyrics of this bitter song show how the commercialism of Western Christmas detracts from genuine faith. One notable line from the song says:
They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
And they told me a fairy story
'Till I believed in the Israelite
Both lyrics and music were undoubtedly very clever – the music featured a sample from Prokofiev's Troika.
It would be my guess that, in this season, we will hear a lot more of this song. The cynicism which it encapsulates partly reflects the zeitgeist – except that today’s skeptics are neither as intelligent nor as eloquent as Lake was.