I have received some really nice feedback of late, and, as such, I will be doing some music columns based on reader requests. We are getting near the end of them; however, this is one of those.
This request comes from the start of this year, and there will be another one that follows on a similar theme. The person in question just asked for it, no reasons given, and I sort of let it slide, but in doing this, I found that I had started it with five tracks.
As such, here are songs about Drums and Drumming.
Image by Cristhian Adame from Pixabay
It appears most songs about drumming are about the heart beat drumming merrily away in the chest. Makes sense, I guess. It’s a nice metaphor, though a bit clichéd now. There are some about drumming as a musical form as well. However, I have avoided songs that are just called things like ‘Drum Solo’ or ‘Drum Duet’ (of which I have quite a few), as it is more a description than an actual song title. Also, despite it being an extended drum workout, ‘Wipeout’ by The Surfaris does not qualify here. Sorry.
So, we have this list. The normal rules apply: the word “Drum” or its variations must be in the title, one song per artist, one version of each song, no live only tracks, I need to like the song. They are listed in chronological order, the date of first release, either as single or the home album. These are not just charting singles, but songs from my collection that fulfill the requirement and that I like.
Here are 10 songs about Drums And Drumming!
’Drum Boogie’ by Gene Krupka Big Band (1956)
From the Drummer Man album, I like this because it is not just an extended drum solo, but is a showcase for the entire band, including the singers. Drumming as a dominant instrument, to me, started with Gene Krupka, and so I am glad to put one of his tracks on this list.
’Let There Be Drums’ by Sandy Nelson (1961)
This is a song I inherited from my father, and so have on 45. Sandy Nelson was a drumming instrumentalist who had a number of charting singles in the 1960s, including this one which is a great bit of drumming music. Probably my favourite of his tracks.
’A Million Drums’ by Tony Sheveton (1964)
This is one of those interesting songs from the mid-sixties where the artists co-opts the music of another culture (Mexican in this case) to surprisingly good effect. I know nothing about this track, as I have it on a compilation album, but I have enjoyed it for years.
’Different Drum’ by The Stone Poseys (1967)
The band is also known as The Stone Poseys featuring Linda Ronstadt, and, yes, that is her wonderful voice on the track. This was a song written by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees (yes, really) and recorded by quite a few artists, but this is definitely the best version, and I think that all comes down to Ronstadt’s singing. She is so good.
’Follow Your Drum’ by Don Fardon (1971)
A song I have on a compilation album, I know nothing about it or the singer, but I do like it, with that sort of proto-classic rock sound, and lyrics about following your own drum, doing things your way, that is always good to hear.
’Don’t Bang The Drum’ by The Waterboys (1985)
A long track from the vastly under-rated The Waterboys. They released songs with intelligent lyrics and great music and this was one of those tracks. I’m not sure if it was released as a single, but it does appear on at least one of their greatest hits albums.
’She Bangs The Drums’ by The Stone Roses (1989)
There was something about the rock music that came out of the UK in the late 1980s into the 1990s that stood out as different and something really good to listen to. The Stone Roses were definitely in that conversation, and it is songs like this one that show why they were so popular and successful.
’Little Drummer Boy (Up The Kyber)’ by Hoodoo Gurus (1991)
Yeah, I sort of felt obliged to include a version of this Christmas carol in this list. Problem is, I really don’t like. However, going through my collection, I found this surf music/Bollywood styled instrumental version by Australia’s own Hoodoo Gurus which is a lot of fun and makes the song worth listening to. (In my opinion.)
’Beating Like A Drum’ by Eskimo Joe (2006)
An album cut from the fine Black Fingernails, Red Wine collection, this is a really good song. Then again, I think there’s only one song on that CD that doesn’t “do it” for me. The slow start into the percussion-heavy ending is so well done.
’Drumset’ by Fiona Apple (2020)
This is from the frankly stunning Fetch The Bolt Cutters album. It is a track that is mainly vocals and percussion, and is bitter and angry with lyrics that are intelligent and stunning. The whole album is like that, to be honest, and this is a fine way to close out this list.
1950s to 2020s (no 2010s, though)! There’s a wide spread of years, and with everything from jazz to pop to rock, I think there is something here for everyone. I hope you enjoyed these songs about drums and drumming, and that it got your foot a-tappin’!