“Drummer Boy” From Titus Andronicus Was Inspired By Billy Joel And ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

Titus Andronicus has been celebrating the release of their album, The Will To Live, this year, but they’ve also leaned into the festive mood with the release of their first-ever standalone holiday single, Drummer Boy”. They’ve also shared plans to ring in the new year with additional tour dates across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

“Drummer Boy” takes the music of Billy Joel’s anthem “Piano Man” and uses it to tell the story of the nativity from the perspective of “The Little Drummer Boy,” made famous in the 1958 Christmas classic of the same name by the Harry Simeone Chorale. Bassist R.J. Gordon also recites the passage from The Gospel of Luke which waas immortalized by Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles explains:

I first connected the dots between the great Billy Joel song and the beloved Christmas standard several years ago, but it got tossed onto the pile with so many of my other crazy ideas. Things being how they are, though, I may not have the luxury of time to execute all those crazy ideas, so when we had two days off in Montreal on our recent tour, we figured we’d grab the reindeer by the antlers and cross this one off the list, so as to avoid the pain of eternal regret. Also, I’ve noticed a lot of discourse recently about what constitutes a legitimate ‘parody’ lately, and I’d like to get a piece of that action.

Photo by Howard Bilerman

To create this song, Titus Andronicus reunited with The Will to Live Producer Howard Bilerman at his Hotel 2 Tango recording studio in Montreal, QC. Also contributing to the fun are members of the Canadian rock band Partner, as well as once-and-future Titus Andronicus tour companions Country Westerns.

To make things even cozier, “Drummer Boy” comes packaged in an official lyric video that doubles as a “fireplace for the home,” ensuring that no listener will go without a proper hearth this holiday.


Feb 3 Limerick, IE – Pharmacia

Feb 4 Dublin, IE – The Grand Social

Feb 7 Edinburgh, UK – The Mash House

Feb 8 Glasgow, UK – Broadcast

Feb 9 Manchester, UK – YES (Pink Room)

Feb 10 Leeds, UK – Belgrave Music Hall

Feb 11 Sunderland, UK – Pop Recs

Feb 13 Nottingham, UK – Bodega

Feb 14 Birmingham, UK – Hare and Hounds

Feb 15 Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach

Feb 16 Brighton, UK – The Hope and Ruin

Feb 17 London, UK – Moth Club

Feb 18 London, UK – Moth Club

Feb 28 Pittsburgh, PA – Thunderbird

Mar 1 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop

Mar 2 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge

Mar 3 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon

Mar 4 St Paul, MN – Turf Club

Mar 5 Fargo, ND – Aquarium

Mar 7 Great Falls, MT – Newberry

Mar 8 Spokane, WA – Lucky You Lounge

Mar 9 Vancouver, BC – Fox Theatre

Mar 10 Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern

Mar 11 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios

Mar 14 Sacramento, CA – Harlow’s

Mar 15 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel

Mar 16 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst

Mar 17 Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom

Mar 18 San Diego, CA – The Casbah

Mar 21 Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge

Mar 22 Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad

Mar 23 Denver, CO – Globe Hall

Mar 28 Omaha, NE – Slowdown

Mar 29 Iowa City, IA – Gabe’s

Mar 31 Bloomington, IN – Bishop

Apr 1 Columbus, OH – Big Room Bar

Apr 2 Richmond, VA – Richmond Music Hall

Apr 4 Washington, DC – Black Cat

Apr 5 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar

Apr 7 Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury Lanes

Apr 8 Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere (Hall)

Jun 1 McGill, NV – Schellraiser Festival

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