ELP Works Volume 2

 

ELP’s Works Volume 2 is kinda like my ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ album. I pull it out every year around this time and give it a couple of listens, usually accompanied by some egg nog with a little added kick to it, and think upon Christmas’ past present and future. Technically it is not really a Christmas record, although it does contain one ‘Christmas Song’. The beautifully poignant I Believe in Father Christmas. For me though, the album has a yuletide feeling to it, maybe because that was around the time of year I first got it back in 1977. I may have even got it as a Christmas present, I can’t remember.

I Believe in Father Christmas, which was penned by Greg Lake and King Crimson’s Peter Sinfield, is quite haunting and very sobering. Not at all like your typical Christmas songs of holiday cheer, and it reminds us that spiritually, this time of year can be rather cold and daunting as well. The winter solstice is both the shortest day, and the longest night of the year, and for some, not that easy to get through.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and now this horrible, horrible shooting in Connecticut you have to wonder … Are we as a people doing all we can to preserve this planet, and secure a future for our children? We can all look to Father Christmas to fix these things. To find him, we need look no further than a mirror.

They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on Earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the Virgin’s birth
I remember one Christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas Tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

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
And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
‘Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on Earth
Hallelujah Noel be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas you get you deserve

I hope this Christmas we all reflect.

ELP Works, Volume 2

1. Tiger in a Spotlight
2. When the Apple Blossoms Bloom in the Windmills of Your Mind I’ll Be You
3. Bullfrog
4. Brain Salad Surgery
5. Barrelhouse Shake-Down
6. Watching Over You
7. So Far to Fall
8. Maple Leaf Rag
9. I Believe in Father Christmas
10. Close But Not Touching
11. Honky Tonk Train Blues
12. Show Me the Way to Go Home

 

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