I posted a version of this song — “I Believe in Father Christmas” by Greg Lake — four years ago to this day, but if anything I think it’s even more appropriate this year.
It’s a melancholy song about the loss of innocence. But while the second verse may seem somewhat bitter about that loss, I don’t read the song overall as bitter or depressing. Not even cynical, really. Just… clear-eyed. And I actually find the final verse, with its earnest lyrics and swelling instrumentation, quite uplifting:
“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.”
There have been so many deaths in the past nine months, so many things lost that we took for granted… in many respects, our entire way of life was snatched away from us in literally moments with no guarantee that is ever coming back, and we’re all still grieving for it. And there’s been a lot of turmoil coming from other sources as well. Our country, our world is filled with sorrow and fear right now… and a tremendous amount of anger too. Once those negative energies are unleashed, they don’t dissipate quickly or easily. I’m not so naive as to think that the turn of a calendar page or the inauguration of a new president is going to instantly undo the Lost Year of 2020. But just as this song ends on a grain of optimism, I do see a glimmer of better days ahead. At least, I hope that’s what the glow on the far-off horizon turns out to be. I hope. How strange that I, of all people, would be saying that.
Merry Christmas to all those who observe it, and for anyone reading this who does not observe or who observes something else, I wish you peace. May we all find a brave new year and a road that is clear.