December 8: I Believe In Father Christmas

Sorry this is late, I have been on the move for 72 hours, for various reasons, and I didn’t have the foresight to advance-schedule more than 48 hours’ worth of songs. It won’t happen again. We have a departure from our regular schedule today, because this isn’t a Beatles song, or a song by an ex-Beatle, or really anything to do with the Beatles at all, except that Greg Lake, whose death was announced today, was a big Beatles fan and cited them as an influence – one that I think you can hear in this song (though it is perhaps more McCartney-ish than it is Beatles-y, but there’s nothing wrong with that).

Anyway since the whole point of this year’s theme is a tribute to lost loved ones, and since this is an actually good, actually Christmas song, it would be rude not to play it today. Normal service resumes tomorrow.


Advent song for December 9: Happy Christmas, (another) Matthew!

This is a proper Christmas pop song. Chosen by Matthew, who says:

I Believe In Father Christmas: makes me smile because I remember Greg Lake being asked what it meant to him and answering “never having to write another song”.

Which is a wise, witty and pragmatic reponse worthy of Matthew himself, who is all of those things. I worked with Matthew years and years ago, before I knew how to do – well, just about anything. I never fully penetrated the mysteries of what he does for a living, but he did teach me, extra-curricularly, to be interested in cooking and photography, so for that I will always be grateful to him. In particular, I remember salivating as he described in exquisite detail the Christmas dinners he used to cook for what sounded like dozens of people at once. I am making Christmas dinner for the first time ever this year, and although I am only catering for four people, I shall endeavour to do it in the spirit of Matthew.

Happy Christmas, Matthew!