The Little Drummer Boy – Gifts and Smiles

by Lee Gonnella on December 23, 2012

It’s officially Christmastime! Right now the Big Guy is  going through his list for the second and final time.  I’m fairly sure most of my readers are on the “Nice” list, and this makes me proud.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite versions of one of my very favorite Christmas songs.   I actually remember watching Bing and David sing this live on television a very long time ago….

The Little Drummer Boy was originally known as “The Carol of the Drum”, and was written in 1941 by Katherine Kennicott Davis.  Of the over 600 pieces of music she composed, this is the most well known, and it has been recorded over 200 times.   Mrs. Davis attended Wellesley College, and went on to teach music there  When she passed at age 87 after a lifetime in music, left the University her estate.   (Not long after she passed, 4 of my buddies and I would spend a night in my cousin Kenny’s  Wellesley dorm-room, after a Grateful Dead performance at Boston Garden.  Small World, right?)

Zimmy tells the story straight on.  This poor little boy hears about baby Jesus and shows up to see him for himself.  He sees everyone giving gifts, takes a solo, and gets a smile from the newborn baby.  The origins of the tale go way back to a 12th century legend, and involve a juggler.  A simple story, and easy for kids to understand why we give gifts at Christmas.

The music was based on a old Czech carol, written for drum and keyboard.  (My favorite beer is a Czech-style Pilsner…..this is getting eerie!)  Here’s Beck, dropping some “Chanukah science”, with “The Little Drum Machine Boy”.

This Hendrix holiday trilogy used to be quite the rarity.  Only about the first 45 seconds are “The Little Drummer Boy”, but the rest is completely worthwhile.

This holiday season hasn’t been an easy one for many people, and Drive It To The Moon is praying for the children and families of everyone effected by the Newtown tragedy.  God Bless us all and happy holidays to everyone who reads this!

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