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 the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?
This is the cheeziest of all Christmas carols, a veritable Disneyfied version of the nativity story. Who the hell is this mini Ringo Starr who crashes the stable? And why didn't Joseph tattoo his rhythmic butt several times and chase him away? And what would have prompted him to accept the drummer boy's sorry line: Hey kid, I know you're sleeping, but listen to this cool little hip-hop break?
So I hated the song for years. Decades. For as long as I've watched those ridiculous claymation Christmas specials. But my buddy Michael Gallaugher performed it at a church a couple years back, and I heard it in a new way. I got nothin'. But what little I have -- even if it truly is nothin' -- I give it to you. That actually makes sense to me. It made sense for the shepherds, too, two thousand years ago. It makes sense for me today. The beat goes on.