Advent 2019 #13: Little Drummer Boy

Considering that for King and Country are the Christian band that has made it into this blog more than any other in 2019, I feel it’s fitting to end the working week with a Christmas song from them. It made a good end to my working week last Friday, when it popped up in my YouTube feed late in the day.

I’ve got to admit though, Little Drummer Boy has never been a favourite Christmas Carol for me. Simple reason is that I’ve always found it rather dull.

Come they told me, pah-rum-pa-pum-pum….

“Boring… no thanks… I’d rather not come” is how I normally feel about it.

However, the song is all about going to visit ‘a newborn king’, otherwise known as the baby Jesus. The narrative behind the song is that there’s a little boy who’s poor, has only a drum and so when he goes to visit baby Jesus he plays his drum for the baby.

The historicity of such an event is possible, but the whole thing seems rather fictitious to me. Probably another reason why I’ve never warmed to the song. I think the first time I slightly warmed to it, was when I heard Ringo Starr singing it: purely the amusement value is what got me then.

But I warm to it even more when I watched for King and Country play it: because their playing of it makes sense. The poor little drummer boy has nothing to give to Jesus, but he knows Jesus is a King. You don’t meet a King without bringing him a worthy gift.

I have no gift to bring, that’s fit to lay before a king…

I played my drum for Him…

I played my best for Him…

Little Drummer Boy is a song about giving Jesus all that you’ve got. It doesn’t have to be money, because some of us are poor. However, we can still give him our time, our skills, our intellect and our energy. For King and Country’s high octane performance of the song is fit for a king: because they give it all they’ve got.

For me watching the clip, it was the first time I saw people perform the song who understood and demonstrated the level of dedication required when playing for Jesus. The first performers to encapsulate the required “Glory to the Newborn King” that the song should. So many other times I’ve heard the song and frankly, the performers’ heart and soul clearly aren’t in it. It just drags along. If baby Jesus isn’t already asleep, he will be shortly.

It amuses me that the way for King and Country play the song sure ain’t putting any baby to sleep, anytime soon: quite the opposite.

Enjoy watching them truly whacking some percussion 🙂

Yours in drumming,


Photo by Oleg Zaicev on

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