Other Random Facts

  • The song was originally called Carol of the Drum, and was based on a traditional Czech carol.
  • The song was written in 1941, but was first recorded a decade later in 1951, performed by the Trapp Family Singers.
  • The song was further popularized by the Harry Simeone Chorale, with a recording in 1958. It was this recording when the name was changed from Carol of the Drum to The Little Drummer Boy.
  • The lyrics talk about a young boy who is summoned by the Magi to the Nativity of Jesus, but the poor boy doesn't have any gift to give, so he plays his drum for the infant Jesus.
  • There are many other versions of the song, including Spanish, French, Punjabi, and Finnish.
  • The story depicted in the song is similar to a 12th century legend retold by Anatole France, which is about a juggler who juggles in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary.