The Twelve Days of Christmas – Twelve Drummers Drumming

Day Twelve of The Twelve Days of Christmas – 12 Drummers drumming.

The final verse of the Carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” begins:

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

My true love sent to me

Twelve Drummers Drumming……..

I wonder did True love send a ticket to the famous Edinburgh Tattoo. ?

The massed drummers at this event are quite a spectacle. Have a look at my previous post, Day Eleven of The Twelve days of Christmas

Twelve Drummers Drumming, calls up images and sounds of such famous drum soloists as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich andRingo Starr  of Beatles fame.  Gene Krupa was the first drum soloist to record a drum solo on a commercial record.

The drum is a member of the percussion group of instruments. The drum consists of a membrane stretched over a shell and is designed to be struck with a hand, brush, stick, mallet or foot pedal. A modern drum set or kit consists of a bass drum, a floor tom, a snare drum, tom-toms and cymbals. The drummer usually sits to play the drums as he uses his hands and feet. Drum kits began in the Vaudeville era (a form of Theatre entertainment which began in the 1880s in the USA) when percussion instruments were played by one player.

Drums were used long ago to send messages, to summon warriors to battle, to accompany marchers, or to provide rhythm for dancers.

A type of drum which is not so well known is the Timpani. These drums belong to the classical orchestra. The membrane or skin of the timpani drum is stretched over a copper bowl- shaped shell, and is attached by two hoops and six to eight tension rods. By tightening or loosening the tension rods the pitch of the drum sound can be changed. Next time you see a classical orchestra performing, watch  the timpanist. If the music changes key you will see the timpanist turning the screws which alter the tension on the drum membrane, although today this has been made easier for the timpanist by using mechanisms which require only one handle to operate.

But it is Christmas and the “Carol of the Drum”. or “The Little Drummer Boy” springs to mind. This Christmas Carol was written by an American music composer and teacher, Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. It was recorded by the Trapp Family singers (of The Sound of Music).

The lyrics are printed below.  Sing along with the two world renowned tenors in the video or just enjoy the singing.

Come they told me, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Our newborn King to see! Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Our finest gifts we’ll bring, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
To lay before the King! Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Rum-pa-pum-pum, Rum-pa-pum-pum
So to honour Him, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
When we come.

Baby Jesus, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
I’m a poor boy, too, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
I have no gift to bring, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
That’s fit to give a King, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Rum-pa-pum-pum, Rum-pa-pum-pum
Shall I play for you, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
On my drum?

Mary nodded, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Ox and ass kept time, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
I played my drum for Him, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
I played my best for Him, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Rum-pa-pum-pum, Rum-pa-pum-pum
Then He smiled at me, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum!
Me and my drum!

 Twelve Drummers Drumming is perhaps another unusual gift to send on the last day of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

I hope you have enjoyed my musings on this well known Carol and the gifts sent by True Love to his beloved

There will be one more post to complete this series on The Twelve Days of Christmas

 Doctor Bill

Other posts in the Series :

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve days of Christmas Day 1

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 2

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 3

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 4

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 5

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 6

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 7

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 8

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 9

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 10

The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 11


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