I’ve always known that the Little Drummer Boy was put on this earth to annoy me. However, over the years, I think I’ve been decent about it, and I’ve tried to be fair with the smarmy little bastard — but to no avail. He refuses to meet me halfway and every year he sneaks back into Christmas, banging away on that stupid little headache-maker of his as if he’s God’s gift to rhythm. “Hey, Ginger Baker! Give it a rest! There’s only so much ‘pa-rum-pum-pum-pumming’ one man can take!” Clearly, it’s impossible to negotiate with unreasonable jerks like the Little Drummer Boy, so the only way I can stop his Yuletide reign of terror is to expose him for what he is — a charlatan and a rogue. This is The 100% Spurious History of the Little Drummer Boy.
Despite Claymation’s claim to the contrary, there actually was a Little Drummer Boy. He was a small-time sneak thief who spent his nights picking the pockets of decent folk in the souks of Baghdad. He wasn’t very good at it though, and after getting caught — a lot — he was told to either hit the road or become the newest member of the one glove club. Drummer Boy skulked out of town on the next full moon and was well on his way to anonymity when he ran across the Three Wise Men who (as everybody knows) were on their way to Bethlehem. LDB travelled with them for the next several days, shamelessly fawning and groveling in the hope of gaining their trust and getting his mitts on some of their treasure. Unfortunately, wise as they probably were, when it came to street smarts, the Three Wise Men weren’t exactly the sharpest scimitars in the desert, and they fell for this blatant con. Drummer Boy made off with a jar of frankincense and headed for Damascus. The Three Wise Men journeyed on — just a little wiser and one jar of frankincense lighter. However, rather than admit they’d gotten scammed by a petty little crook, the Wise Men decided to rework the story in a more favourable light and so emerged the tale we know today — “pa-rum-pum-pum-pum” and all.
And what happened to the Little Drummer Boy? He was arrested for selling stolen frankincense, convicted and sentenced to 10 years hard labour in a Damascus prison — which is exactly what the treacherous little bugger deserved.
And, BTW, many people believe “The Little Drummer Boy” was written, in 1941, by Katherine Kennicott Davis, a mild-mannered New England music teacher. This is not true. The song was written by Nazis — flesh-eating, green-saliva Nazis — who were trying to undermine our morale during World War II. Just sayin’!