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> Argh, It's The Little Drummer Boy, Why the Little Drummer Boy is WRONG!!!
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deckers 
Posted: 15-Dec-2004, 04:33 PM
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I just heard Charlie Zahn's rendition of "The Little Drummer Boy." And while I like Charlie and his music, I have to say that I am HORRIBLY disappointed that he even did it in the first place.

Basically, I think the Little Drummer Boy is just plain wrong. It never happened. Of course it's Christmas carol nonsense, but regardless of your personal views on the birth of Jesus, I think everyone would agree with me that the idea behind the song is about as realistic is the scene from "Independence Day" where they loaded a computer virus onto the alien ship with a souped-up Macintosh.

Below is a column I wrote about the topic a couple of years ago, and later reprinted. I'll republish it in a week, in keeping with my holiday curmudgeonly tradition. xmas.gif


Erik Deckers



I Don't Believe In The Little Drummer Boy
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2003

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. My birthday, my anniversary, and any other occasion where someone gives me presents are also big favorites.

To get into the Christmas spirit, I enjoy listening to Christmas music, so I usually hit the department stores around August to hear "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." It's a wonder most store clerks don't go postal on their customers by mid-November.

I love the classics -- "Jingle Bells," "Silent Night" or the Sex Pistols' "Have Yourself a Merry $%@&! Christmas." But the rest of the songs are awful, and I chase off carolers with a pitchfork whenever I hear them.

One of the most annoying Christmas songs ever is Bruce Springsteen's "Santa Claus is Coming To Town." It's 20 minutes long, and the last nineteen-and-a-half minutes are nothing but Bruce singing "Santa Claus is coming to town" over and over. And over. By the time Bruce has finished with his Yuletide droning, Santa has left town and is already slamming Upside-Down Margaritas with the elves at home.

But that's nothing compared to the worst Christmas song ever; the song that makes me want to sleep straight to Easter: "The Little Drummer Boy." Not only do they sing the same thing over and over -- pa-rum pum pum pum -- but the song isn't that believable.

I realize songs about a fat guy sliding effortlessly down a chimney, and a flying reindeer with a halogen nose aren't so believable, but I've seen the reindeer myself.

First of all, drums do not go "pa-rum pum pum pum." As any parent of a child with a toy drum knows, a drum is a loud percussive instrument. They do not make pleasant little melodies sung by children's choirs. They make headaches. Drums go "KA-WHAM WHAP WHAP WHAP!"

In other words, when the Little Drummer Boy asks Mary if he could play a song for the Baby Jesus -- pa-rum pum pum pum -- no one says, "Wait a minute! That kid is just going to pound a drum at Him!" I agree that giving the gift of music is a very noble sentiment, unless you really wanted that big screen high-definition TV instead. After all, it's the thought that counts. But when your newborn baby has just gone to sleep after 6 hours of constant screaming because his bedding is made of straw, do you really want someone going "ka-wham whap whap whap!" at him?

What about Mary? What did she do during this time? According to the song, she just nodded -- pa-rum pum pum pum -- listened attentively, and smiled quietly to herself. Not being a mother myself, I can't speak for other mothers. But I'd wager your Christmas gifts that if you've been riding on a donkey for several days while carrying a huge watermelon in your belly, and then spent the last 36 hours in labor, you wouldn't want some snot-nosed kid showing up and to beat a drum at you. The song would be more accurate if it said "Mary leapt off her stool and chased the little brat away, pa-rum pum pum pum. "

And what about the ox and lambs that kept time -- pa-rum pum pum pum? Not likely. Everyone knows that oxen are tone deaf and lambs don't have a well-developed sense of rhythm. If they said horses and llamas, I would have believed it.

"Then He smiled at me" (pa-rum pum pum pum). I have an easier time believing the ox and lambs put on top hats and sang "Puttin' On the Ritz." How would you feel if you had just been removed from a nice warm womb and stuck in a bed of itchy, smelly straw when some little jerk starts beating a drum at you? Here's a test. Go find a newborn baby and start pa-rum pum pum pumming on a pot with a couple of wooden spoons. If he smiles at something like that, he's colicky.

I'm all for the magic and wonder of Christmas. But I know mothers. And I know babies. And I know that mothers don't want anyone pounding drums around with their babies.

Gift of music or not, beating on a goatskin stretched over a hollow log is not something a new mother wants to deal with. Give her something useful, like a set of earplugs or a live-in nanny.
xmas.gif


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Rindy 
Posted: 15-Dec-2004, 07:50 PM
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I do agree. I do have to say I like most of the songs. I never thought about the drum part. I do agree.
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 15-Dec-2004, 08:12 PM
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Well, I was going to request "The Little Drummer Boy" by Charlie Zahm and dedicate it to Brother Deckers, because he "loves it so" but unfortunately requests are disabled. But, after all, it's the thought that counts! laugh.gif


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Rindy 
Posted: 15-Dec-2004, 08:28 PM
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QUOTE (MacEoghainn @ 15-Dec-2004, 06:12 PM)
Well, I was going to request "The Little Drummer Boy" by Charlie Zahm and dedicate it to Brother Deckers, because he "loves it so" but unfortunately requests are disabled. But, after all, it's the thought that counts!  laugh.gif

FUNNY! laugh.gif
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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 15-Dec-2004, 09:03 PM
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Erik, maybe we can bribe the reindeer to run over the drummer boy instead of grandma? Kill two birds with one stone so to speak. rolleyes.gif


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susieq76 
Posted: 16-Dec-2004, 09:45 AM
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Can they take out the guy who wrote "Christmas Shoes" while their at it?? What kind of sick person would write such a depressing song for Christmas? It takes on new meaning this year, since my aunt just died of cancer, leaving my 11 year old cousin behind. I cannot imagine him having to listen to that song. People like that, IMHO, should be shot.


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maisky 
Posted: 16-Dec-2004, 09:50 AM
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WOW!! What a blood-thirsty bunch we have here!! And at Christmas, at that!!! tongue.gif


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oldraven 
Posted: 16-Dec-2004, 11:42 AM
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QUOTE (susieq76 @ 16-Dec-2004, 07:45 AM)
What kind of sick person would write such a depressing song for Christmas?

A coutnry singer? wink.gif The just can't help but depress people, even at the happiest time of year.


Anyway, Excellent job with the writing man. But you just redefined the term 'anal retentive'. unsure.gif


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Rindy 
Posted: 16-Dec-2004, 02:55 PM
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Oh no The Little Drummer Boy is on. Plug your ears!!!! biggrin.gifj-->dj.gif Did someone request this for deckers? xmas.gif
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Randy 
Posted: 16-Dec-2004, 06:07 PM
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Little Drummer Boy has been my favorite Christmas song since I was a kid. If you want to heard the bar none best version of it you need to hear Tori Amos sing it. Unfortunately the CD it is on is a live one and there is a stupid girl that yells something like "I love you Tori" in a pause in the middle of the song. It drives me crazy every time I hear it.
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Rindy 
Posted: 19-Dec-2004, 10:08 PM
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OH NO I HEARD LITTLE DRUMMER BOY AGAIN TODAY ON CELTIC RADIO!

I really don't mind it but I know deckers hates it! smile.gif so I thought I would let him know it was on again. laugh.gif
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deckers 
Posted: 20-Dec-2004, 08:32 AM
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QUOTE (Rindy1202 @ 19-Dec-2004, 10:08 PM)
OH NO I HEARD LITTLE DRUMMER BOY AGAIN TODAY ON CELTIC RADIO!

I really don't mind it but I know deckers hates it! smile.gif so I thought I would let him know it was on again. laugh.gif

You're killin' me over here, Mary. frusty.gif

But at least you're thinking of me. laugh.gif

Erik
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Rindy 
Posted: 20-Dec-2004, 11:22 AM
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QUOTE (deckers @ 20-Dec-2004, 06:32 AM)
QUOTE (Rindy1202 @ 19-Dec-2004, 10:08 PM)
OH NO I HEARD LITTLE DRUMMER BOY AGAIN TODAY ON CELTIC RADIO!

I really don't mind it but I know deckers hates it! smile.gif so I thought I would let him know it was on again. laugh.gif

You're killin' me over here, Mary. frusty.gif

But at least you're thinking of me. laugh.gif

Erik

Yes I will think of you everytime I hear that song. It will never be the same now. Hope you have a Merry Christmas if I don't speak with you before then. smile.gif

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deckers 
Posted: 21-Dec-2004, 09:16 AM
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Does anyone remember the scene from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio play (or even the book) where Ford and Arthur are forced to listen to Vogon poetry as a form of torture?

I'm having the same experience as I listen to Charlie Zahm sing the bane of my Christmas season.

CURSE YOU PAUL MACARTHUR AND YOUR AUTOMATED PLAYLISTS! WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME SO?!?!?! wink.gif


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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 21-Dec-2004, 10:05 AM
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QUOTE (deckers @ 21-Dec-2004, 09:16 AM)
WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME SO?!?!?! wink.gif


Erik

Just for the fun of it? rolleyes.gif
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