The power of that song is the theme of innocence set to protective military cadence.
The American Boomer version. There is of course the David Bowie with Bing Cro… — No. The Bob Seger version is excellent musically, though. Lyrically, this version replaces references to Mary and Jesus with generic language. [Link]
The American Millennial version. Millennials as such don’t get many flattering reviews but people forget that as teenagers, they rushed to enlist in the armed forces after 9/11. In their late twenties and thirties they took to the streets in support of Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign and kicked ass. Tragically, it turns out that 9/11 was done by the US government and AFG/IRQ are imperial globohomo wars against the good guys of that region. And then when elected, Trump ceded street activism to Antifa. In both instances, Millennials answered the call and both times they were betrayed by their leaders. Is it any wonder?
But it’s not over. The mountains in this excellent video might be in California, it’s hard to tell. The “Little Drummer Boy” performance below is quintessentially of that generation. It’s in the contemporary style of Country music. Not my favorite expression of the genre but halfway through, the song becomes intense. The signature quality of this style of vocal performance is meekness. It’s up to the viewer’s interpretation whether this meekness is the generation’s defeated spirit or whether what you’re seeing is the humility that comes with the feeling in your bones that things are getting serious. The pitch of malice toward us across the Western world is heightening, in Virginia particularly.
The male artist reminds me of the timeless truth that humble men are tougher than meets the eye. The female artist grew on me, with her adoring attitude toward him. Always bet on humble men and women who are willing to take it to the mat once the course of human events reaches escape velocity.
Continental Europe: German. This version is even more true to the spirit of the song than the famous 1958 recording by the Harry Simeone. German lyrics, such as “Liebes Christuskind,” have a different effect than “Baby Jesu” in the original English. [Link]
Continental Europe: Greek and French. The performance is in French. The legendary Nana Mouskouri is Greek. [Link]
A cross-cultural anachronism. The Afro-Caribbean ladies of vintage Boney M are Nubian hieroglyphs-come-to-life. The past decade killed the fiction of amity across races, therefore seeing that European boy among them has the effect of watching a child play with three well behaved pit bulls. [Link]
At the edge of civilization: Norway. How do you reignite the faltering light of your culture in a song? One way would be what this group of Norwegian university students did: a brilliant ode to their country. I don’t know if such symbolism was intended, but at 2:50 the strings create a warlike, Middle Eastern-like sound which then gets silenced by the chorus. [Link]
The European man at the antipodes. New Zealand children’s performance. The magic moment that begins at 1:50 defines our destiny. The two young White boys against the world. The martial drum and bagpipe, the girl chorus backing them faithfully. [Link]