December 19, 2011

"Which Christmas carol lyric depicts your life?"

A pop quiz:
a. “Bring me flesh and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither.”

b. “BlackBerry on our hip and then it gave a little flicker. . . . Came to realize my homie Bieber hit me on the Twitter. Then I hit him back despite I had some food on my finger.”
That quiz (in the NYT) is really just a cute way — assuming the NYT is capable of being cute — for the NYT to tell you it knows about the pop recording "Drummer Boy," which, it asserts, is "excellent."

Having found the lyric genuinely amusing, I listened to the song and found it immensely annoying. I think I'd managed thus far in life to avoid hearing the voice of Justin Bieber. It's so irritating!... especially when accompanied by constant snare drumming, which is, apparently, regarded as essential, even when layering in rap, for anybody doing a new arrangement of that always awful song "Drummer Boy."

Which reminds me, if you ever feel like giving me a gift, and you think all you've got to give is that drum number you're threatening to perform, realize you are making a mistake. There's also the gift of silence. I'd prefer that. I know baby Jesus reputedly appreciated the gift of drumming — according to that nasty song — but consider the possibility that Jesus was just being nice. I know, politeness is a quality alien to infants, but — come on! — it was Jesus! Put the damned drum away.

What I like about the quiz, though, is that much as I identify with "Bring me flesh and bring me wine," I'm thousands of times more likely to eat while using a high-tech device than in front of a blazing fire.

24 comments:

raf said...

Why the "rape" tag? Is the song really that bad.

Or did you mean "rap"?

Scott M said...

if you ever feel like giving me a gift, and you think all you've got to give is that drum number you're threatening to perform, realize you are making a mistake

Just great. Months of practicing Neil Peart's "YYZ" solo for your Christmas gift, a complete waste of time. Ungratefulness, thy name is Althouse.

Shanna said...

What on earth do you have against drums?

I love the sentiment of the little drummer boy and I don't care if that makes me a hopeless sap. It's lovely.

Pogo said...

The drumming isn't awful, but the rapping he inserted was, and far worse were the words he said.
Stupid and venal.

Bieber made baby Jesus cry.

MadisonMan said...

Maybe someone can make the song

Bieber got run over by a reindeer


But then instead of drums, you'd be overcome by the wailing of tweens.

Curious George said...

The most beautiful song, carol or non, ever written (and performed here by Celine Dion) is O Holy Night..

Here is a nice Holiday Greeting that T-Mobile did at Woodfield Mall outside of Chicago. Home for the Holidays. No drums Professor!

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't know that I've ever heard Bieber. I'm not going to start now.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why the "rape" tag? Is the song really that bad. Or did you mean "rap"?"'

Blogger autocompletes in the tags and for some reason prefers longer to shorter tags. Even though I have a "rap" tag, typing "rap" and then enter produces rape.

kristinintexas said...

Shanna, I'm with you. I LOVE the Little Drummer Boy - makes me tear up. *sniff*

Kevin said...

Dowdifying Althouse quote: "rap...produces rape."

Oh and while I agree that Little Drummer Boy can be annoying, it was among my favorites as an actual child (i.e., the target audience), and the Crosby/Bowie version still gives me goosebumps. Though that is likely more due to the combined wattage of Crosby/Bowie than any inherent qualities of the song.

RonF said...

"A" is more typical of me. Except I drink beer or whiskey, not wine. But meat, booze and a fire in the fireplace is by no means an untypical Christmas season evening for me.

Jeff with one 'f' said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff with one 'f' said...

The best version of the Little Drummer Boy is by Low (from Dulth!): Little drummer boy

My favorite of their own Christmas songs is: Just Like Christmas

Shanna said...

Crosby/Bowie version still gives me goosebumps

That one is very pretty! I love Bing Crosby's voice. (I watched White Christmas again on Saturday)

Bender said...

if you ever feel like giving me a gift, and you think all you've got to give is that drum number you're threatening to perform, realize you are making a mistake. There's also the gift of silence. I'd prefer that.
_________________

Might we instead give you the gift of understanding metaphor?

The gift of drumming isn't about drumming (and the gold, incense, and myrrh aren't really about those material objects either). It is about the understanding of not possessing anything that is fully adequate for the recipient of the gift.

What can we give that God does not already have? He lacks for nothing -- material goods, even the materiality of music, He already has in abundance.

So what can we give that is really appropriate? The gift of self. The gift of love.

That is what the "drumming" is.

And we need not -- and most likely do not already -- apply this only to God. We already face the dilemma of what to give to those family members (parents, etc.) who already have everything they could possibly want or need? Ultimately, the best gift we can give is our gift of self in love -- to drum for them.

edutcher said...

The old Frank Sinatra recordings of, "Mistletoe And Holly", and, "The Christmas Waltz" do it for me.

PS Link doesn't work - or does it need Javascript, which I have turned off because of Chrome?

The Unknown Pundit said...

Bring me flesh...

Waiter, I'll have two women with nothing on them. To go, please.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

I identify with "Bring me flesh and bring me wine,"

Hmmm,

Maybe she was telling us something with that solstice post yesterday.

She's either saying she's into orgies or human sacrifice.

Maybe both.

Greg said...

I have to telly you -- I would have hated the song just due to it being Justin Bieber supplying the vocals. But I truly despise it after watching the Houston Texans cheerleaders do a bump-n-grind routine to it near the end of the yesterday's horrific loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Donna B. said...

rum pum pum pum...

A good holiday drink.

Crunchy Frog said...

Far be it to pimp my own material, but...

This is just another Christmas song
And it won't be here for very long
'Cause when January comes along
They're put away where they belong
So let's sing a song to Jesus Christ
Who took our sin and paid the price
See it's not about the presents or a tree
It's about eternal life for you and me


-me

http://vaportrailing.blogspot.com/2011/11/just-another-christmas-song.html

wv: scowl - hope you don't when you read it

EMD said...

for anybody doing a new arrangement of that always awful song "Drummer Boy."

I'll echo the Crosby/Bowie comments, but also add the Harry Simeone Chorale's version to the "good" pile of Little Drummer Boy variations.

caplight said...

Oh, now I want to give you a drum solo so bad it hurts.

Let's get a flash mob together and ambush Ann with playing our drums.

ROAD TRIP!

Nate Whilk said...

"I know baby Jesus reputedly appreciated the gift of drumming — according to that nasty song — but consider the possibility that Jesus was just being nice."

Well, "I played [past tense] my drum for him" and "THEN he smiled at me". Obviously Jesus smiled because the drumming finally stopped!

Actually, I like the song, but I can understand why many people don't.

My favorite odd version is one by Marlene Dietrich.

Some little known facts about the song. The original composer is Katherine K. Davis. One Jack Halloran arranged and recorded the song (with a hired chorus) before Simeone. By chance Simeone heard the recording session live. He used almost the exact same arrangement (adding little more than the triangle), and recorded it himself with the very same singers.

There's more unusual history to this song. Google and ye shall find.