The Most Underappreciated Christmas Song of All Time

[Alternate titles: Me and My Drum; A Carol of Consecration]

“The Little Drummer Boy” is among the most mocked of Christmas carols. All those “rum pum pums” are often what stand out the most. Either the song is made fun of, or it’s overperformed for the purpose of showing off a singing voice—thus ruining the point as thoroughly as the rich donors overshadowed the widow’s mite.

41 ¶And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

The point of this song is utmost humility. It is not about showing off. The version of this song I have shared in this post knows exactly what it is doing—no operatic voices, no one displaying their great talents, and most of all, putting that pause right before the climax to reveal the purpose of the song through narrative timing.

When you take all the “rum pum pums” out, what do you get?

Come they told me
A new born king to see
Our finest gifts we bring
To lay before the king
So to honor him
When we come.

Little baby,
I am a poor boy too.
I have no gift to bring
That’s fit to give our king—
Shall I play for you?

Mary nodded;
The ox and lamb kept time.
I played my drum for him
I played my best for him…

Then he smiled at me—
Me and my drum.

You get the purest expression of the law of consecration and the Savior’s response to our best yet feeble efforts since He gave the parable of the talents two thousand years ago.

 

 

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