One of the most popular classic Christmas songs is “The Little Drummer Boy,” also known as “Carol of the Drum” written by musician Katherine K. Davis in 1941. The song became well-known not only because of the sweet, mellow melody but also the profound meaning, imbued in every word of its lyrics.

The song tells the story of a poor boy. On the first Christmas, when the three wise men from the East came to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth, they called him to go along.

The wise men all brought precious gifts like incense, gold and myrrh. And he was just a poor child so he had nothing to bring as gift except his drum.

(Screenshot from youtube)

With Mary’s permission, he used his drum to play a solemn song, as a gift in celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth.

His drumming was the music he played from his heart. Miraculously, even though Jesus was just newly born, he seemed to understand, stopped crying and smiled at the drummer boy.

The story of a poor boy who had no gift for Jesus other than his heart has touched many people. No matter how much gold and worldly possessions you have, it is uncertain that God would  receive those things with a smile. Just a devout and pure heart could bring a smile to his lips.

Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay

The song is written with a simple melody but still adheres to a bustling 4/4 time signature. The song is just a piece of music with short lyrics, that are repeated over and over. After a short sentence, there is a “knock” sound in the drum beat: Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum. Despite being simple, the song has become legendary and has been known to mankind as a prayer at Christmas.

Let’s listen to the original version