Lyrics from "The Little Drummer Boy" include the repeated line "Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum," which resembles the sound of a drum. The song is reportedly based on an old Czech carol and was written in 1941 by Katherine Davis. It was first recorded in 1955 by the Trapp Family Singers, and Harry Simeone’s version of the song released in 1958 became hugely popular.
The song revolves around a little boy who does not have any presents for baby Jesus. The little boy plays honors baby Jesus by playing his drums. In order to play the drums, he first gets permission from Mary. The little boy sings, “I played my best for Him” and "He smiled at me."
A popular Christmas song, “The Little Drummer Boy” has been recorded and rereleased numerous times. Between 1957 and 2011, 113 musicians have recorded and released the song. There are over 220 cover versions of the song in all music genres and in seven languages. Bing Crosby, Jimi Hendrix, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan and Pink Martini have recorded and released their versions of the song. The Supremes also recorded a version of the song in 1965 and released it in the album “Merry Christmas.”