Father Christmas

Album: The Misfits (1977)

Songfacts®:

  • "Father Christmas" is the name used in The UK and Australia for Santa Claus. This song is about a kid whose Christmas experience is a bit unusual. He never believed in Father Christmas, but finds himself performing as the character, and gets mugged by kids who tell him they want his money, not toys. He asks that if Father Christmas does exist, he bring a job for his dad and a machine gun so he can scare off the kids who mugged him. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Logan - Durham, NH
  • This song is played in the background at the end of the movie Step Brothers as the camera is slowly zooming in on the family during The Holidays. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Erik Johnson - Chatham, IL
  • Ray Davies frequently stole shows by performing the song live wearing a Santa costume. "When the record came out we were on tour with a very successful band at the time supporting them," he recalled during an interview with Southern California radio station KSWD. "I went on dressed as Santa at the end of the show to do 'Father Christmas.' And the other band found it hard to follow us. The following night with the same band I went to run on but there was a bunch of heavies preventing me from running on stage. And I was protesting. But the people said, 'The Kinks didn't do an encore but Santa Claus was there and they were stopping him from going on stage.'"
  • In England, Father Christmas is the personification of Christmas, in the same way as Santa Claus is in the United States. Although the characters are now synonymous, historically Father Christmas and Santa Claus have separate entities, stemming from unrelated traditions.

    First written about in Tudor England and pre-dating the first recording of Santa Claus, Father Christmas was a jolly, well-nourished man who typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, bringing peace, joy, good food and wine and revelry. In time, the tradition merged with America's Santa Claus with both riding in a reindeer-pulled sleigh carrying a sackful of toys that lands on the roofs of houses that contain good children. The mythical, white bearded Santa/Father Christmas then enters the properties through their chimneys clutching gifts for the well-behaved little ones inside.

    A similar figure with the same name (in translation) exists in many other countries, including Canada and France (Père Noël), Spain (Papá Noel, Padre Noel) and almost all Hispanic South America (Papá Noel). (Source The Encyclopedia of Trivia).

Comments: 12

  • Walter Sobchak from Maryland Father Christmas is the epitome of benevolence during the Yuletide Season. There is no malice in Father Christmas whatsoever.
  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaIf you caught a supremely talented musician on a really bad day, you might be able to squeeze a Christmas song with this much angry wit out of him or her. It would not, however, become a classic. And, of all the people, famous and unknown, who have written classic Christmas songs, only one can correctly be said to have written one that is both a classic and as angry as the day is long. That one person is, of course Ray Davies, and I would submit that even before he wrote it, he was the odds on favorite to write the first and last angry Christmas song. It was really only a matter of time.

    I always assumed that one of the reasons I lean toward punk rock and Garage band type music is because it is so accessible. It easy to listen to great song and envision yourself being just mediocre enough that, if a million stars aligned just right at the exact moment a blessed inspiration rolled over you, you might just be able to produce something almost as good. Even though the Kinks arguably were the first punks, I never felt like I could have written a Ray Davies song. Whatever happened in his childhood to create that mixture of brilliant observation skills, razor-sharp wit, and yes that deep-seated anger and, of course, the ability to treat the English language like watercolors and paint masterpieces with it on a whim, it has rarely, if ever been repeated in humans.

    In cases like this, it is best to just enjoy an awesome song rather than overanalyze, and Ray wrote a GREAT song in Father Christmas”.
  • Tom from Marietta, OhThe Greg Lake song is "I Believe in Father Christmas" so it's not quite the same title as this one. It's a vastly different but still awesome song, although like this one it has meaning behind it.
  • George from Las Vegas, NvI also should say to Randy in Ohio, NO, that is not the same song, not even close.
  • George from Las Vegas, NvThe kinks have a knack for twisting the words, but the ultimate message is 'remember the poor kids', and the sarcastic lyric about Santa getting mugged is absolutely wonderful, and will be remembered for many a year at this time.
  • Greg from Salem, OrGreat song. Frenetic drums and guitar riff, and hilarious as well. But in the end, as it says, it's really about "remember the kids who got nothin', as you're drinking down your wine."
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., OhGreg Lake does a song called "Father Christmas"- I wonder if this is the same song?
  • Ben from Reading, PaThis song is in the newly released movie, "Unacompied Minors"
  • Greg from Alsip, IlI always liked the fact that it's the ONLY Christmas song in which violence towards Santa is even suggested.
  • Eddie from Acton, MeThis is the first Christmas song I listen to as soon as the holiday season hits. Steve Austin outfit, indeed.
  • Alejandro from Raleigh, NcThat's true. I also think that the line about the job and the machine gun is supposed to be what the kids who are mugging the guy are asking him and not Father Christmas himself.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaThis is my favorite Christmas song, but I think it has a more of "Remember the poor kids on Christmas" meaning as opposed to the actual storyline.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Yoko Ono

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors Examined

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors ExaminedSong Writing

Doors expert Jim Cherry, author of The Doors Examined, talks about some of their defining songs and exposes some Jim Morrison myths.

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"They're Playing My Song

Gramm co-wrote this gorgeous ballad and delivered an inspired vocal, but the song was the beginning of the end of his time with Foreigner.

Adele

AdeleFact or Fiction

Despite her reticent personality, Adele's life and music are filled with intrigue. See if you can spot the true tales.

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.

Francis Rossi of Status Quo

Francis Rossi of Status QuoSongwriter Interviews

Doubt led to drive for Francis, who still isn't sure why one of Status Quo's biggest hits is so beloved.