Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"A little man bought him a big bass drum..."

I came looking for an answer I had received and it wasn't here (so it will be now). I found it on the lyrics game, when the word was "drum": http://lyricsgame.blogspot.com/2010/02/drum.html





(the default/still picture there is scary; sorry)


MamaDonna said....
He got all his children little snare drums-Boom-tidera-da-boom!
And they'd practice as soon as they'd finished their sums.
Boom-tidera-da-boom. (Second verse from song/rhyme entitled A Family Drum Corps by Malcolm Douglas) p.s. The 1st verse is the song your Papaw used to sing. I found it on Google Book search [I linked to the very page. —Sandra].

February 23, 2010 11:35 AM
Sandra Dodd said...
THANK YOU!!! I had searched for it years ago but hadn't thought to do it again. Thank you, thank you!



April 2016:
I was looking for a reference on this song & came across your blog.

Here's what we sang in 1st grade in 1937:
A little man bought him a big bass drum;
Boom, boom, boom!
"Who knows", said he, "when the war will come?"
Boom, boom, boom!
"I'm not at all frightened, you understand."
"But if I'm called on to fight for my land,
I want to be ready to play in the band!"
Boom, boom, boom!

Our teacher played records of several children's songs
and this was one of 'em, sung by a woman with a voice that I'd call mezzo.

I have no idea as to the source of the records!

Best wishes.

+ F. Eugene (Gene) Dunnam PhD +
+ Professor of Physics, Emeritus +
+ University of Florida +

And this was added in subsequent correpondence:
you can tell that those words came from 'between wars'; nowadays somebody would censor it as being draft-dodging, unpatriotic, etc., etc.!!!



The book MamaDonna found was published in 1891. It's called "Werner's Reading and Recitations, and the poem is "A Family Drum Corps," by Malcolm Douglas. It has several verses, and a cumulative addition each time as more instruments are added.

If anyone comes across this who knows a source for a tune (the recording Dr. Dunnam described, or something in a book) please leave a note!