Friday, December 19, 2008

The Little Drummer Boy

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.


mg said...

i played this song?
i don't remember that. are you sure it was me?

Andy Whitman said...

Michael, I'm about 99.9% sure. I checked with Kate, and she remembers it too. It was noteworthy because we both hate that song, and we both loved the way you did it at CV. This is a good thing, by the way. :-)

Anonymous said...

Andy, Have you ever heard the Emmylou Harris version of this song?

What about the claymation don't you like? I have been showing them to my kids (5 and 3) and they love them. Kind of magical to them plus who doesn't like the Heat Meiser, Cold Meiser songs...

mg said...

i wish i remembered it. i'm completely drawing a blank. could it be a senior moment? sara said she remembers it and zach agreed as well. i wish i remembered it since i don't particularly enjoy that song either. i find it odd that i would choose to do it!

i'm glad you liked it though and have fond memories of it!

John McCollum said...

Yeah. I'm with them. It was you, Mike.

Anonymous said...

wow - these comments are turning out to be even more interesting than the post! (no offense, but there's a real storyline developing here: *Who* sang that song? And if it was mg why can't he remember it? and does everyone else *really* remember it as him, or is this some kind of paranoia-inducing plot?)

Pilgrim said...

Johnny Cash does a great rendition on youtube, following Silent Night.

KarlandBethany said...

our vote is that mg did it @ cv (if we were home, we could probably even tell you which year)

mh did it at VCC one year too- for Christmas eve service, probably around 2002 (it was the year PW played the djembe & came in from the back of the auditorium)

KarlandBethany said...

When I get back from Boston I'll check the backups of the services from years past and see if I can find it. I'll send it to MG to jog his memory or question everyone else's sanity.