Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Little Bucket Boys, a Christmas classic

My wife was putting our 5-year-old son to bed last night when the conversation turned to the Christmas song “The Little Drummer Boy.”
“If he’s so poor, how can he afford a drum?” little Christopher asked.
“I don’t know, maybe it wasn’t really a drum, but a bucket,” my wife replied.
“Oh, like the Bucket Boys,” Christopher responded.
They both had a good laugh over that one.
The Bucket Boys are a talented group of young men who drum on 5-gallon plastic pickle buckets to entertain the crowds at Chicago Bulls games. They’ve been performing for the Bulls since 2002.
A representative of the Bulls’ front office discovered the teens playing for tips on a sidewalk in the city’s Magnificent Mile shopping district. Amazed by their energy, synchronization and percussive skills, he signed them up to play during home games.
The Bucket Boys were an instant hit and have since made appearances in a KFC television ad, a spot with Hank Williams Jr. on his “Are You Ready For Some Football?!” intro to ABC’s Monday Night Football, and a shared halftime performance bill for the 2004 NBA All-Star Game with OutKast, Christina Aguilera and Beyonce.
I’ve always thought the notion of a little boy banging on his drum as a gift for the baby Jesus was a little silly. The song’s heart is in the right place, but come on, does anyone really think some rat-a-tat-tat noise is what a newborn and his parents are looking for? Please.
Now can you imagine the Bucket Boys raising the volume at the manger scene? Yeah, the three wise men might be into that. But Mary and Joseph, not so much.
("Little Drummer Boy" artwork by Publications International Ltd.)

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