Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 8, 2016

Lessons learned from the little drummer boy

By Steph Tahtinen Mt. Pleasant News

By STEPH TAHTINEN

Mt. Pleasant News

I’ve spent a lot of time listening to carols as I’ve been counting down the days until Christmas. Wednesday evening, as I worked on cleaning my apartment in preparation of my parents and sister coming to stay for the holiday, I put in one of my favorite CDs to listen to this time of year — 80 minutes of nothing but Little Drummer Boy.

As I hypnotically pa-rum-pum-pum-pum-ed along with my favorite Christmas carol, I began to look at the song in a whole new light.

When I was young, I first fell in love with this song because of the drums. As I neared my middle school years, I knew I wanted to be a percussionist in the school band. So, this song quickly became my favorite as I envisioned myself as a little drummer girl.

It was around this time I first made myself the CD, with 22 different versions of the song — from the traditional to new age to more popular artists (at least popular when I was in middle school) such as Destiny’s Child, there is enough of a variety on that CD that it does not seem like I am listening to the same song for 80 minutes.

Yet, I was listening to the same song, and as the lyrics repeatedly went through my head for those 80 minutes, I found myself doing a literary analysis of the lyrics (sometimes I really miss my college literature classes) and I realized what a great message the song actually has.

The song tells the tale of a little boy with a drum who is invited to come along to see the newborn baby Jesus. Everyone is bringing gifts to honor the newborn; however, the boy is poor and does not have a gift worthy of giving a king. He decides to play his drum for the baby, and what follows is a scene worthy of a Disney movie as the ox and lamb help him keep time as the boy plays. He is then rewarded by a smile from baby Jesus.

Religious aspects pushed aside, what a great message this song conveys.

At this time of year, people tend to get so wrapped up in the presents and material possessions of the season, that they tend to forget about the simple things. In the song, most are concerned with bringing their finest gifts to the baby, possibly without much thought other than the grandeur of their present. The boy, though, gives the only thing he has — a song played on his drum.

As this simple act shows us, there are more ways to give than showering somebody with gifts. It should be noted that it is not the material possessions, but rather the boy’s song, that makes the baby smile. The boy gave from the heart, dedicating his time and his talent to serve others, and he gave it his all — playing his best for the baby.

What a great concept. If only we could all give with such selflessness and dedication.