Villagers and Lisa Hannigan deliver a serene cover of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’

28 November 2023, 14:39

Villagers and Lisa Hannigan
Villagers and Lisa Hannigan. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Villagers, the Irish indie folk band led by Conor O’Brien, have teamed up with singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan for a beautiful rendition of the Christmas classic ‘The Little Drummer Boy’.

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The song, which was composed in 1941 by Katherine Kennicott Davis, tells the story of a poor boy who plays his drum for the newborn Jesus as a gift.

The song has been recorded by many artists over the years, but perhaps the most famous version is the 1977 duet by Bing Crosby and David Bowie, titled ‘Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy’.

O’Brien and Hannigan’s version stays faithful to the original melody and lyrics, but adds a touch of elegance and warmth with their harmonious vocals and gentle acoustic instrumentation.

O’Brien said that he has always loved the song since he was a child, and that it was a dream to sing it with Hannigan, whom he praised as having an “incomparable voice”.

Villagers and Lisa Hannigan - The Little Drummer Boy (Official Audio)

O'Brien said: “Since I was a little boy this song by Katherine Kennicott Davis has captured my imagination more than any other Christmas carol. Such a dream to perform it alongside the incomparable voice of Lisa Hannigan.”

The cover comes after Villagers announced their largest-ever headline show to date at Dublin’s Trinity College on June 29, 2024.

Villagers and Lisa Hannigan’s cover of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ is available to stream and download on all major platforms.