Titus Andronicus puts new spin on ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ — and ‘Piano Man’ (LISTEN HERE)

titus andronicus little drummer boy

Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles.

One of the most creative new takes on a holiday song I’ve ever heard comes, this year, from an unlikely source, Jersey rock band Titus Andronicus. The group has recorded a new version of “The Little Drummer Boy,” set to the melody of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.” You can watch the video for it, below.

The song has new lyrics about Christ’s birth and the little drummer boy, written by the band’s frontman, Patrick Stickles. For instance, one of the verses goes like this:

And Joseph’s a hard-working Nazarene
Whose garments are tattered and torn
And though he’s not the father
He don’t appeared bothered
For tonight a Savior is born

The urgent, singalong chorus sticks more closely to Joel’s original template:

Play us a song, you’re the drummer boy
Play us a song tonight
‘Cause we’re all in the mood
For a rum-pa-pum-pum
And you’ve got us feeling all right

“I first connected the dots between the great Billy Joel song and the beloved Christmas standard several years ago, but it got tossed onto the pile with so many of my other crazy ideas,” said Stickles in a press release.

“Things being how they are, though, I may not have the luxury of time to execute all those crazy ideas, so when we had two days off in Montreal on our recent tour, we figured we’d grab the reindeer by the antlers and cross this one off the list, so as to avoid the pain of eternal regret. Also, I’ve noticed a lot of discourse recently about what constitutes a legitimate ‘parody’ lately, and I’d like to get a piece of that action.”

For more on the band, visit titusandronicus.net.

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