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The Little Drummer Boy
"The Little Drummer Boy" was written by the American classical music composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. The song was originally titled "Carol of the Drum" and was published by Davis based upon a traditional Czech song. Davis's interest was in producing material for amateur and girls' choirs.
"Carol of the Drum" appealed to the Austrian Trapp Family Singers, who first brought the song to wider prominence when they recorded it for Decca Records in 1951 on their first album for Decca. In 1957 it was recorded, with a slightly altered arrangement by Jack Halloran for his Jack Halloran Singers on their Dot Records album Christmas Is A-Comin'. This arrangement is the one commonly sung today.
In the lyrics, the singer relates how, as a poor young boy, he was summoned by the Magi to the Nativity of Jesus. Without a gift for the Infant, the little drummer boy played his drum with approval from Jesus’ mother, Mary, recalling, “I played my best for him” and "He smiled at me".