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3 December 2020, 13:46 | Updated: 3 December 2020, 16:01
It's one of the most classic Christmas songs of all time, even if you might not know it by name.
Prog rock legend Greg Lake scored a surprise Christmas hit in 1975, and it remains a favourite decades later.
But what inspired the song and what is it all about? Here's all the fascinating facts:
Greg Lake was an English bassist, guitarist, singer-songwriter and producer.
He was best known as a founding member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP).
Greg Lake wrote the music, while Peter Sinfield wrote the lyrics.
Sinfield was also a founding member of King Crimson, who wrote various hits for other artists including 'The Land of Make Believe' by King Crimson and Celine Dion's 'Think Twice'.
Although it is often considered a Christmas song, this was not Lake's intention.
He said he wrote the song as a protest against the commercialisation of Christmas.
However, Sinfield said that the lyrics are about a loss of innocence and childhood belief.
The instrumental riff between the verses comes from the 'Troika' portion of Sergei Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé Suite, which was written for the 1934 Soviet film Lieutenant Kijé.
This was added after Lake's ELP bandmate Keith Emerson suggested it.
Lake later said: "I got beaten by one of the greatest records ever made. I would’ve been pissed off if I’d been beaten by Cliff.
The video was shot on the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, and at the Dead Sea Scrolls caves in the West Bank.
It also includes footage from the Vietnam War.
The song has been covered by several artists over the years, including:
- Toyah Wilcox
- Elaine Paige
- Sarah Brightman
- Joe McElderry
- Susan Boyle