Patapan (Willie Take Your Drum)
Willie, take your little drum,. Robin take your flute and come. And be merry while you play.
Willie, Take Your Little Drum (Pat-a-pan) – Lyrics
Tu-re-lu-re-lu, pat-a-pat-a-pan. We will listen as you play. The theme isn't too different from that of "The Little Drummer Boy," in that it describes the shepherds presumably bringing their instruments to play for Jesus, and then using an onomatopoeia to describe the sound of their fifes and drums: "Tu-re-lu-re-lu, pat-a-pat-apan.
Personally, I wonder about the tune. This is a really lighthearted carol, especially compared to most coming out of Europe at this time and in the centuries before. So why is it in a minor key?
De La Monnoye apparently composed the original sheet music in D minor, so I guess it was just a matter of preference for him. It works, but it's not what you'd expect lyrically from a song in a minor key. That's really neither here nor there, just a thought. While variations on the tune are almost nonexistent there are plenty of English adaptations of the lyrics that some simple Google digging will yield.
The Drum Carol : (with Patapan) (3-Part Mixed) : (Donnelly/arr. Strid) : 3-part Mixed : #
But the central theme remains the same; it'd be pretty hard to totally rewrite the lyrics and still call the song "Pat-a-Pan" in reference to the drumming. One last version for the road: Mannheim Steamroller's arrangement. Permission is not given to share an unlimited license across different choirs and organizations.
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Skip to content. Info Purchase Approximate performance time: 2 min. Year composed: Text Tu-re-lu, patapan… Willie, take your little drum, Robin take your flute and come, And be merry while you play, on this joyous Christmas day.
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