In 1941, Katherine K. Davis penned the words and music to "Carol of the Drum," which, in 1958 was renamed "The Little Drummer Boy." This Harry Simeone Chorale version took the country by storm that Christmas, becoming the second most popular Christmas song, after "White Christmas," which was written in 1940.
As legend goes, the little drummer boy knows that he is poor and can give nothing more than his song, but he also believes that "It is fit to give to a King!" With Mary's permission and the support of the ox and lamb, who kept time, "He played his best!" Notice the words of the last two stanzas:
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 our King.
Pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum.
Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum.
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 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.
Yes, we truly do need more drummer boys! Though notably not a true Christmas character, the little drummer boy still sends a message that I deeply desire, and I trust you do also, as we enter the blessed Christmas season and into the New Year. I may have little to offer the Lord, and at times, feel so insignificant, but in what I do have to offer Him, I want to do my best! We have all been so blessed. We have a calling that enables us to do our best for Him every day, one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, and one year at a time. Some of us have been doing it for many years, others are just getting started. Regardless which end of the time scale we may be on, let's recommit to do our best for Him. Christmas reminds us that God did His best when He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). Christmas reminds us that Mary (Luke 1:26-38) and Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25) did their best by being obedient to the messages sent by the Lord. Christmas also reminds us that Christ came to do His best in following the will of His Father (Luke 2:49; John 5:30; 6:38). May these texts prompt us afresh to do our best for Him. And the next time you hear "The Little Drummer Boy," and hear it you will, be reminded that the best gift we can give is ourselves! Wanted for Christmas – more drummer boys!
Our Father showed such love in sending His Son to earth,
Born in a lowly manger, what a miracle – the virgin birth!
His life was One of destiny, His Father's will to do,
Some believed, and some did not, but still His Word was true.
He lived, died and rose again, and now sits at the Father's right hand,
Where someday every knee shall bow and all in Judgment stand.
Recorded in the Scriptures is the history of God's dearly beloved Son,
E'enthough He dwelt in Heaven before the rising of earth's first sun.
A reigning King must spring from royalty and that our Savior did,
God protected the lineage of His Son, as Satan for His soul did bid.
As years turned into centuries, God's plan was woven into time,
It could not be unraveled by the wicked one's cruel crimes.
So today we have a Savior still righteous and faithful in His ways,
So worthy to be our Lord and King, so worthy of our praise!
Help us, Lord to be godly servants, who walk within Your will,
Not as the scribes in Jesus' day, seeking prominence and selfish thrill.
They dressed in long robes seeking attention, they prayed lengthy prayers in plain view,
They sought high seats in the synagogue, Lord, we want only Your likeness to pursue.
You have called us to be servants, to occupy until You come,
You've entrusted us with Your plan and purpose, Faithful we must be and then some.
So for You we want to do our best, even as that little drummer boy of old,
Humbly giving what little we have, for Your glory please bless it four-fold.