Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.
“The Little Drummer Boy,” also known as “Carol of the Drum,” is a popular Christmas song written in 1941 by pianist Katherine K. Davis. It was popularized with a 1958 recording by the Harry Simeone Chorale and has been adapted many times since.
Its simple but humble lyrics tell of a poor boy who was unable to afford a gift for the infant Jesus, and plays his drum for the newborn King. As the song draws to its end the Christ child smiles at the boy, not only in gratitude, but also in acceptance of his gift.
As I have enjoyed listening to The Little Drummer Boy play over the airwaves, and most recently this past Sunday at church, my attention has been particularly drawn to the rhythm that serves as the melody’s’ backdrop.
It is a basic, non complicated march cadence in which each beat serves as the backbone to the simple message driven in the song. The message that there is no gift offered to Christ, great or small, tangible or non-tangible, that is unworthy of His gratitude or acceptance. He values them all.
This year as I have listened and focused on the cadence of The Little Drummer Boy’s march, (conjuring in my mind a military movement of soldiers pressing onward, and persevering through) I have likened it to a heartbeat… a heartbeat of service.
And as interesting as this thought or imagery is, I find that resting inside of me is a unique rhythm, my beating heart, in which I have been compelled to asked myself if my cadence to serve and honor Him is as consistent as the marching rhythm in the song.
Do I serve him consistently? Am I pressing onward, and persevering through with glory and honor to Him? Am I offering him my whole heart? Every beat of its rhythm?
Needless to say it has been a sobering thought and in all honesty I dare admit that I have missed a beat or two.
However with each new day, or better yet, with each new beat of my heart, I have an opportunity, like the Little Drummer Boy, to bring whatever gifts I have, no matter how great or small, tangible or non-tangible to lay before my King in service, honor, and glory to Him.
* * * *
Who would have thought that after all these years, that a familiar and simple song would have had such a challenging message to send me, not so much in its lyrics, but rather in its rhythm, it’s beat… (not in words but in action).
Below I have enclosed the rest of the lyrics to The Little Drummer Boy and as you read may the drum line transpose to a beat of a heart that is focused on serving our Lord.
I have taken a few liberties, posted in red, so I hope you don’t mind. It may seem a little quirky to you but perhaps it will translate as it did to me and serve as a steady reminder, that our God loves the sound of our hearts and accepts the offerings that pours from it.
Merry Christmas my friend
Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give the King (except a heart of service), pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum (heart)?
Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum (heart) for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him (I gave my all for Him), pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum (heart).