What Is The Best Christmas Song Ever? It’s ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ And Here’s Why
Everyone has their own favorite Christmas song, but to me, it will always be "The Little Drummer Boy." I don't care who is singing it, the story of the poor little boy who has nothing to bring the Christ child but his simple song, played on his drum, pah rum pah pum pum, is the very essence of Christmas for me.
The first time I heard "The Little Drummer Boy" was during a Christmas special starring Bing Crosby. He recorded it with David Bowie, who didn't even like the song, on September 11, 1977. Crosby passed away a month later, and the special aired in December. To make sure Bowie would do the duet, songwriters reworked the song in about an hour, called it 'Peace On Earth', and the rest is history:
The next time I heard the song was when I saw the Christmas TV special, The Little Drummer Boy. It is the story of Aaron, a poor orphan boy who witnesses his parents' brutal murders, gets kidnapped, is forced into performing for a traveling circus, and ends up hating everything and everyone except for his pet lamb, donkey, and camel, and the the drum his father gave him before he was killed. Ah, there's nothing like old school children's Christmas tales! The last five minutes with Aaron's lamb getting run over, healed by the Christ child, and the Vienna Boys Choir singing "The Little Drummer Boy" while Aaron plays, oh, it makes me tear up just thinking about it!
OK, I've regained my composure! Finally, the Bob Seger version of "The Little Drummer Boy" rounds out the three reasons why I think "The Little Drummer Boy" is the best Christmas song ever. He recorded it because he was asked to be on the original 'A Very Special Christmas' album, and he liked a version of "The Little Drummer Boy" that was sung by The Temptations. I love the recorded version that we play on KISS, but this version, recorded just a few years ago, is amazing because you can hear the audience singing along, and Segar's voice is still magical: