This song was written by Katherine Kennicott Davis (in 1941). It has been recorded by many artists, but Jars of Clay sings a unique version I enjoy… included on their album, Drummer Boy.

Katherine Kennicott Davis (June 25, 1892 – April 20, 1980) was an American former teacher, who was a classical music composer, pianist, and author of the famous Christmas tune “The Little Drummer Boy”.
Davis was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. She composed her first piece of music, “Shadow March,” at the age of 15. She graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1910, and studied music at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. After graduation, she continued at Wellesley as an assistant in the Music Department, teaching music theory and piano. At the same time she studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
She became a member of ASCAP in 1941, and was granted an honorary doctorate from Stetson University. Katherine K. Davis continued writing music until she became ill… and died… in the winter of 1979-1980. She left all royalties and proceeds from her compositions, which include operas, choruses, children’s operettas, cantatas, piano and organ pieces, and songs, to Wellesley College’s Music Department. These funds are used to support musical instrument instruction.
She wrote “The Little Drummer Boy” (originally titled “The Carol of the Drum”), in 1941. It became famous when recorded by the Harry Simeone Chorale in 1958: the recording sailed to the top of the Billboard charts and Simeone insisted on a writer’s royalty for his arrangement of the song.

This song imagines what a little drummer boy might have imagined had he been present at the birth of Jesus.
Bible Reference… Luke 2:1-7

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.”

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 a King. (pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum)
Shall I play for you… (pa rum pum pum) “on my drum.”

Mary nodded. (pa rum pum pum pum)
The ox and lamb kept time. (pa rum pum pum pum)
I played my drum for Him. (pa rum pum pum)
I played my best 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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s