Make My Day
I DON'T BELIEVE IN THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. My birthday, my anniversary, and any other occasion where someone gives me presents are also big favorites.
To get into the Christmas spirit, I enjoy listening to Christmas music, so I usually hit the department stores around August so I can hear "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." It's a wonder most store clerks don't go postal on their customers by mid-November.
I love the classics - "Jingle Bells," "Silent Night" or the Sex Pistols' "Have Yourself a Merry $%@&! Christmas." But the rest of the songs are awful, and I chase off carolers with a pitchfork whenever I hear them.
One of the most annoying Christmas songs ever is Bruce Springsteen's "Santa Claus is Coming To Town." It's 20 minutes long, and the last nineteen-and-a-half minutes are nothing but Bruce singing "Santa Claus is coming to town" over and over. And over. By the time Bruce has finished with his Yuletide droning, Santa has left town and is already slamming Upside-Down Margaritas with the elves at home.
But that's nothing compared to the worst Christmas song ever; the song that makes me want to sleep straight to Easter: "The Little Drummer Boy." Not only do they sing the same thing over and over - pa-rum pum pum pum - but the song isn't that believable.
I realize songs about a fat guy sliding effortlessly down a chimney, and a flying reindeer with a halogen nose aren't so believable, but I've seen the reindeer myself.
First of all, drums do not go "pa-rum pum pum pum." As any parent of a child with a toy drum knows, a drum is a loud percussive instrument. They do not make pleasant little melodies sung by children's choirs. They make headaches. Drums go "ka-wham whap whap whap!"
In other words, when the Little Drummer Boy asks Mary if he could play a song for the Baby Jesus - pa-rum pum pum pum - no one says, "Wait a minute! That kid is just going to pound a drum at Him!" I agree that giving the gift of music is a very noble sentiment, unless you really wanted that big screen high-definition tv instead. After all, it's the thought that counts. But when your newborn baby has just gone to sleep after 6 hours of constant screaming because his bedding is made of straw, do you really want someone going "ka-wham whap whap whap!" at him?
What about Mary? What did she do during this time? According to the song, she just nodded - pa-rum pum pum pum - listened attentively, and smiled quietly to herself. Not being a mother myself, I can't speak for other mothers. But I'd wager your Christmas gifts that if you've been riding on a donkey for several days while carrying a huge watermelon in your belly, and then spent the last 36 hours in labor, you wouldn't want some snot-nosed kid showing up and to beat a drum at you. The song would be more accurate if it said "Mary leapt off her stool and chased the little brat away, pa-rum pum pum pum. "
And what about the ox and lambs that kept time - pa-rum pum pum pum? Not likely. Everyone knows that oxen are tone deaf and lambs don't have a well-developed sense of rhythm. If they said horses and llamas, I would have believed it.
"Then He smiled at me" - pa-rum pum pum pum. I have an easier time believing the ox and lambs put on top hats and sang "Puttin' On the Ritz." How would you feel if you had just been removed from a nice warm womb and stuck in a bed of itchy, smelly straw when some little jerk starts beating a drum at you? Here's a test. Go find a newborn baby and start pa-rum pum pum pumming on a pot with a couple of wooden spoons. If he smiles at something like that, he's colicky.
I'm all for the magic and wonder of Christmas. But I know mothers. And I know babies. And I know that mothers don't want anyone pounding drums around with their babies.
Gift of music or not, beating on a goatskin stretched over a hollow log is not something a new mother wants to deal with. Give her something useful, like a set of earplugs or a live-in nanny.