A.M. – Day 16 – The Little Drummer Boy

Today’s Reading:  Matthew 19:13-15

This is the version of The Little Drummer Boy that many of us remember.  There is no mention of a child playing a drum in the Bible, so the song is a fictional account of a poor boy who plays his drum for Jesus. That is why today’s reading is about how Jesus regarded little children (spoiler – He loved them!).  What troubled me is that in reading the some of comments on this song, many people apply the “pure fiction” paint brush to the entire Christmas Story. Hmm. Let me just move on to something else troubling.

Even though Katherine Davis wrote the song originally called Carol of the Drum – when two men made tweaks to it making it more profitable (including a new title)- they got authorship privileges. Part of me feels that if she wrote this now as opposed to the 1940s – her name would be the only one there – no matter how many tweaks were made. I say that only because, even though Silent Night is said to be the most well known Christmas carol – I was stunned at how many covers there were of this song.  literally hundreds – when one of the partnerships on The Little Drummer Boy is Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes, you know what kind of a circus is happening in that cover list.  And they said Bing Crosby and David Bowie were an unlikely combo?

Come they told me Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King Pa rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum Rum pum pum pum
So to honor Him Pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring Pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give a King Pa rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum Rum pum pum pum
Shall I play for you! Pa rum pum pum
On my drum.

Mary nodded Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him Pa rum pum pum
I played my best for Him Pa rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum Rum pum pum pum
Then He smiled at me Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

The words and music to the Christmas song Little Drummer Boy was composed by Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone in 1958.
The lyrics of Little Drummer Boy consist of no less than 21 rum pum pum pum’ – a major part of the song and therefore presenting an apparently easy task for the lyricist! However, Little Drummer Boy has been a huge hit for several artists.

The most notable rendition was created by the most unlikely combination of Bing Crosby and David Bowie. This version of Little Drummer Boy was a massive hit for the artists and was in fact Bing Crosby’s most successful recording since the legendary White Christmas. carols.org.uk

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