Over eight crazy nights, Dave Grohl and his pal Greg Kurstin performed eight covers of Jewish musicians in celebration of Hanukkah. With the Festival of Lights concluding on Thursday, Grohl and Kurstin turned their attention to Christmas and linked up with Kurstin’s The Bird and the Bee bandmate Inara George for a cover of “Little Drummer Boy” on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“The Little Drummer Boy” was composed by the music teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. Apart from the melody, the song is instantly recognizable for the rat-a-tat-tat rhythm played by the titular little drummer boy. But medium-sized drummer man Dave Grohl had other ideas. He kicked off the song with a flourish before settling into a driving rock and roll groove, riding the cymbals and keeping the bass drum thumping. Kurstin handled guitars, playing a low riff during the verses and banging on a keyboard during the chorus of “Me and my drum, rum pa pum pum.” Check out the performance below.
The track appears on The Bird and the Bee’s new Christmas album Put Up the Lights. But if celebrating Hanukkah is more your style, make sure to revisit Grohl and Kurstin’s tributes to Jewish musicians, from Beastie Boys (“Sabotage”), through Drake (“Hotline Bling”), Mountain (“Mississippi Queen”), Peaches (“Fuck the Pain Away”), Bob Dylan (“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”), Elastica (“Connection”), The Knack (“Frustrated”), and The Velvet Underground (“Rock and Roll”).