Nerdvana: Pat-A-Pan

Everyone has a favorite Christmas song. For some it’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, for some it’s “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”, for some it’s “White Christmas”, for some it’s “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”, for some it’s “Jingle Bells”…

Douchey McNitpick

“That is NOT a Christmas song! It’s a WINTER song! They don’t mention Christmas anywhere in the lyrics! Just like “Winter Wonderland” and “Baby, it’s Cold Outside”!

Yeah, we’ve covered that. Anyway, typical of my Aquarian nature, my favorite Christmas song is one that rarely gets played on Top 40 radio stations and has yet to be featured in a Rankin-Bass special: a little ditty called Pat-A-Pan.


“I’D like to pat a Pan, if ya know what I mean!”



“Whoa, TMI, man!”


For those who don’t know, “Pat-A-Pan” is a French Christmas carol in Burgundian dialect, later adapted into English. It was written by Bernard de La Monnoye (1641–1728) and first published in Noël bourguignons in 1720. Its’ original title is “Guillô, Pran Ton Tamborin” (“Willie, Bring Your Little Drum” or “Willie, Take Your Little Drum”).

The carol revolves around the birth of Jesus Christ, and is told from the perspective of shepherds playing simple instruments—flutes and drums—the onomatopoetic sound of which gives the song its name; “patapan” is meant to mimic the sound of the drum, and an accompanying lyric, “tu-re-lu-re-lu,” the flute. This is similar conceptually to the carol “The Little Drummer Boy”, with its chorus of “pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.”


“Uh, Gee Big, I don’t dig!”

Try to keep up. Anyway, here’s a traditional rendition of the song:


And now, a slightly more contemporary version courtesy of vocalist David Archuleta:

And finally, my personal favorite version of “Pat-A-Pan”, as well as the one that introduced me to the song, the version from Mannheim Steamroller. This version, originally recorded on their 1995 album Christmas in the Aire, is instrumental, so I wouldn’t hear the lyrics until later; as a result, I didn’t initially realize that this was a Christmas song, so my mental imagery for “Pat-A-Pan” has nothing to do with Christmas, Jesus or shepherds. I always envision an elf lady playing a pan-flute throughout a forest and getting the forest animals to dance to it. I honestly had no idea that this was holiday song until I later heard the lyrics.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s my all-time favorite version of “Pat-A-Pan”.


So there you have it. My little tribute to a lesser known holiday song. Incidentally, I realize that Christmas was yesterday; think of it as an After Christmas sale.


We pass the redundancy on to YOU!



2 Funny: TMNT – The Wrap Rap

We’re about halfway through December, so I figured it’s high time I posted something Christmas-related here.

By now, I’m sure many of us have seen (or have been subjected to) the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ home video release We Wish You a Turtle Christmas. James Rolfe (the Angry Video Game Nerd), Alison Pregler (Obscurus Lupa) and more recently Doug Walker (the Nostalgia Critic) have all reviewed this holiday masterpiece, so we might as well get in on it as well. (If you haven’t seen this video, it’s a legendary must see…a bit like the Necronomicon.)

Here’s an excerpt from Turtle Christmas. The Turtles are wrapping Christmas presents, so they’re rapping.


Oh, I caught it all right; hit me right in the craw. Here is…The Wrap Rap.

It looks like the Krampus has some competition for the title of Scariest Christmas mascot. Excuse me, I’m off to go burn my eyes and ears.

Toons & Tunes: Christmas Tauntauns

Yes, this is yet another Christmas themed video. I can hear your collective groans, but ’tis the season, so deal with it.

This little ditty manages to be fun, sweet and quirky without getting overly sappy or sentimental like many holiday songs tend to do. The CGI is a tad primitive and the singing is a smidge flat, but to be fair this was the early 2000’s and the singer, Kirsty Dawson, was only 16 at the time and this was her first time performing in a recording studio. Anyways, George Lucas himself apparently liked the short, since he hand picked it as the winner of a Star Wars fan film contest. Enjoy Christmas Tauntauns.