The Little Drummer Boy
We love music. Especially this time of year. With a trombonist and a percussionist on the junior staff and a gifted soprano for a managing editor, we have our share of musicians. I even play a mean radio, as well as anyone else in these parts.
Christmastime is an excellent time to enjoy music. With that in mind, we have been busy researching some of the traditional favorites and learning more about the music of the season. I'm a little excited about this post as it comes with a big announcement. I almost feel guilty with such an important announcement as I don't want to upstage the teams in Egypt that are about to unearth secret chambers in the tomb of King Tut, perhaps even the missing tomb of Queen Nefertiti.
But I have really big news.
This week, after much investigation and research, ABG discovered that the 1941 Christmas Classic "The Little Drummer Boy" has a lost verse. Well, it was lost. But it's not anymore. We've found it. It was stuffed away in a book that had not been opened in over five decades. The newly found verse is different than the rest in that is is voiced by Mary, the mother of the newborn Jesus, and directed toward the young drummer boy. It is culturally significant in that it shows a direct connection between Mary, a new mother in Roman occupied Bethlehem some 20 centuries ago and every new mother in the South over the last 300-500 years.
It is believed that the verse was first omitted by the Trapp Family Singers in their 1955 recording. This led to the verse being omitted in the 1958 recording by the Harry Simeone Chorale. After that the verse disappeared...until this week.
So, without further ado, allow me to share with you the once missing verse:
Welcome drummer boy, pa rum pum pum pum
I see your drum with you pa rum pum pum pum
If you wake that baby up pa rum pum pum pum
I'll slap you upside your head pa rum pum pum pum
So there you have it. The missing verse. Don't forget to sing it along with the others when you're out caroling this Christmas season. And don't forget the wisdom within the lyrics if you visit new mothers in the weeks to come.
Hope the Holidays are treating you well so far.
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Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire