The Little Drummer Boy. This song has been one of the most iconic songs in the history of Christmas. Written in 1941 by Katherine K. Davis, the song was originally titled “Carol of the Drum.” It is said to be a translated and varied version of an old Czech carol.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the story of the Little Drummer Boy is the fact that he is not in the Bible. For the most part, it is a fictional story. But why does it resonate like the echo of a drum in the souls of so many of us?

The song tells the story of a little boy that is poor and can’t afford a lavish and seemingly important gift like the wise men that we read about in Scripture. The young boy hears of the King, the Messiah, being born and wants to go see Him. He wanted to see the Promised One, the One who would free and rescue their people. But what could he do? Maybe he would come up with an excuse? Maybe he could find something along the way? The one thing he could give was the only thing he had to his name—his drum.

The reason this song speaks to so many of us is that it matches the rhythm of our souls. It speaks to the doubts and fears so many of us have when we approach the throne of Christ.


“I’m not good enough.”

“I don’t have anything to give to God.”

“What if I don’t measure up?”

“My gift (monetary or service) is so insignificant when compared the gifts of others.”

“Jesus would never even want my gift…He would never want me.”


If we are honest, all of us have thought at least some of those things. We have wondered if we were “good enough.” We have felt like our gifts would be insignificant. The Little Drummer Boy, through the Holy Spirit’s gentle guidance, reminds us that it is not the quantity or quality of the gift, it is the heart and spirit in which it is given. Colossians 3:17 reads, “…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” When our hearts are focused on giving God the glory He deserves, our hearts are truly bent toward worship. When this is the attitude of our hearts, much like Jesus and His parents in the story of the Little Drummer Boy, God is pleased.

Here’s the truth. Jesus wants you. He wants your gift. He wants your talents. He wants your heart. You are of His greatest treasures and He valued you enough to die for you. While the Little Drummer Boy speaks to our doubts and fears, we should also take heart and learn from his example. He stepped up and gave everything he had to his Savior, his King. Take the next step. Take your talent, your gift, your heart—your drum—and play it as loudly and with as much tenacity as our Savior King deserves. He always wants to hear you play for Him.