Friday, December 17, 2010

Songs for Christmas: Little Drummer Boy

Call this one "Christmas Americana!" I remember enjoying this song as a child and then as I grew older I recognized the poignant message of the song that was more than just a boy playing his drum. Last year when I heard that Bob Dylan had released a Christmas album, Christmas in the Heart, I howled (no reference to Allen Ginsberg intended) at the notion. I'm a Dylan fan, but Christmas music? What was he doing? Was this a serious project, or tongue-in-cheek? My daughter gave the CD to me for Christmas last year and I actually enjoyed it. Apparently, Dylan wanted to bring together those Christmas songs he remembered as a kid growing up in middle America in the 1950s. He stated in an interview that those songs were a part of his life, just like folk songs. "Little Drummer Boy" is one of my favorite tracks from that CD, and someone has provided some excellent "Americana" illustration to accompany the piece.





Speaking of drums, I must add that the toy drum kept me believing in Santa Claus a little longer than might have otherwise been the case. It seems that every Christmas, one or another of us kids would get a toy drum which we delighted in playing while marching about the house. It would irritate my mother to no end, and she did not hesitate to remark how she hated those toy drums. I doubted the rumor that our parents gave us those gifts because I knew my mother would never buy us a drum for Christmas - it must be Santa.



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