A video was shot for this song in some very exotic and very hot locales: the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, and the Dead Sea Scroll caves in the West Bank. Few artists shot conceptual videos at the time (MTV was still six years away), but the clip garnered a lot of exposure for the song and helped it move up the UK charts. In our interview with Greg Lake
, he explained: "The Christmas song, the essence of it, the beginning of the story is religious, and it goes back to Israel. And that is where we shot the film. Some bright spark came up with the idea of shooting it in the Dead Sea Scroll caves. It sounded good, you know. The idea of that sounded appealing... until I actually had to do it. And it was a most treacherous thing. Now I look back on it, I was mad to do it.
It involved climbing across this ledge and there was hundreds of feet sheer drop, both sides. And the path across was probably two feet wide. It sounds like a lot, two feet. But when there's a sheer drop of three or four hundred feet each side, two foot becomes very small, and it's very scary. That's what we had to do, we had to cross this ledge to get across to where the caves actually were.
So I got inside of the Dead Sea Scroll caves. They're tiny little caves the size of a bathroom, really, where the actual scrolls were found in clay jars. And it's hundreds of feet up a cliff. So other than by this ledge, the only way you get to it is to be dangled down on a helicopter or something. The cliffs are very bright white, they must be chalk or some substance, salt, I believe, is what they are, from the Dead Sea. And the sun is so bright. They call it the Sun's Anvil. The guy actually fried an egg - I saw him do it on a rock. Cracked an egg on a rock and it fried. That's how hot it is. Just incredible heat - I could only film maybe 20, 30 seconds of the thing and then I had to duck out. The sun was so, so ferocious.
And then we went to the desert to film with the Bedouins. That was fascinating, because somebody who had a connection with them arranged to meet them in the middle of the desert. We went out there and were due to meet them at 11:00 in the morning. We drove out to the middle of this desert, to this oasis with palm trees and a small pool of water, a spring of water. You could see in any direction all the way to the horizon. There was nothing but sand dunes as far as the eye could see.
And so it came to 10:45 and we were waiting, and I was looking all the way across the desert. There were no Bedouins. And I said to the security guy, 'Where are the Bedouins?' He said, 'Don't worry, they'll be here.' I said, 'Yeah, but look, I can see right to the horizon, and there are no Bedouins. How do you think they're going to get from the horizon to here in 15 minutes?' He said, 'What you don't know is that the Bedouins don't walk over sand dunes. They walk in between the hills, so you never see them. They're always in the dips of the sand dunes until they get within maybe 100 yards of you, and then you see them. Because they walk in between, they never go over a sand dune. It's too much effort, you see.'
Eventually they turned up. Most beautiful looking people: pearl white teeth, these dark oak suntans, incredible looking people. We sat round and they filmed them, I played the guitar and they listened happily. It was an amazing thing."