Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Countdown Characters #1

Each year, it has been my custom to create a blog Advent calendar with a  post a day in December until Christmas Day. Last year, the very popular Christmas Countdown of Christmas cake can probably not be equalled, but here is the first of 25 - the ABC of Christmas characters.  ( Aren't there 26 letters in the alphabet, I hear you ask ... yes, perhaps there will be a bonus letter on one of the days). To make this even more interesting, I will create 25 sketches to accompany the story behind each of the characters of Christmas 2016.
The Little Drummer Boy -  watercolour, ink , pencil - Wilma Simmons 

A is for Aaron ... who
? This is the name given to the Little Drummer Boy in the 1968 animated film, based on the Christmas carol. The Little Drummer Boy is the story of a poor orphan boy who had no gift to give to the Christ Child, so he played his drum, with Mary's approval. Delighted with the drummer's music, the Baby Jesus smiled. The Christmas carol, first entitled, the Carol of the Drum was written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941 and it is believed to be translation of a Czech carol, which in turn was based on a 12th century legend.
 Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum 
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum  
I have no gift to bring , pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give our king , pa rum pum pum pum 
Shall I pay for you, pa rum pum pum pum  ...
Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum 
Me and my drum , pa rum pum pum pum ...
Over 200 versions of this Christmas carol have been recorded , the  most notable by the  Trapp Family Singers. Another well known version is by Bing Crosby, which became a duet, with David Bowie singing ' Peace on Earth" simultaneously. Other favourite versions of "The Little Drummer Boy"  include those by the Vienna Boys' Choir, Johnny Mathis, Johnny Cash and even Marlene Dietrich..
I am not sure how the name Aaron was chosen for the little drummer boy, but the name is a Hebrew name meaning "high mountain', "elevated" or "enlightened", so perhaps it was well chosen .... This is a YouTube extract from the animation... Can you guess who it will be tomorrow's Christmas  'B'......

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