Whitney Brothers Quartet – The Little Red Drum (1908)

1908 song from the Whitney Brothers Quartet, putting to music “The Drum”, a poem by Eugene Field about children playing a game of “Cowboys and Indians”.

I’m a beautiful red, red drum, And I train with the soldier boys; As up the street we come, Wonderful is our noise! There’s Tom, and Jim, and Phil, And Dick, and Nat, and Fred, While Widow Cutler’s Bill And I march on ahead, With a r-r-rat-tat-tat And a tum-titty-um-tum-tum— Oh, there’s bushels of fun in that For boys with a little red drum! The Injuns came last night While the soldiers were abed, And they gobbled a Chinese kite And off to the woods they fled! The woods are the cherry-trees Down in the orchard lot, And the soldiers are marching to seize The booty the Injuns got. With tum-titty-um-tum-tum, And r-r-rat-tat-tat, When soldiers marching come Injuns had better scat! Step up there, little Fred, And, Charley, have a mind! Jim is as far ahead As you two are behind! Ready with gun and sword Your valorous work to do— Yonder the Injun horde Are lying in wait for you. And their hearts go pitapat When they hear the soldiers come With a r-r-rat-tat-tat And a tum-titty-um-tum-tum! Course it’s all in play! The skulking Injun crew That hustled the kite away Are little white boys, like you! But “honest” or “just in fun,” It is all the same to me; And, when the battle is won, Home once again march we With a r-r-rat-tat-tat And tum-titty-um-tum-tum; And there’s glory enough in that For the boys with their little red drum!

Housed at: Internet Archive
Underlying Work: PD 70 years | Digital Copy: Pending Clarification
Download: MP3