Little Drummer Boy
Saturday, December 21, 1996
Listen

(OPEN OF "LITTLE DRUMMER BOY" PLAYED OMINOSO)

CF: This is a warning to all computer users. A deadly virus encoded in the second stanza of "The Little Drummer Boy" can wipe out your hard drive, a virus programmed into the song itself that attacks Macintosh or IBM programs. Repeat: the second stanza of "The Little Drummer Boy" contains a computer virus that can (SHE SPEAKS A FEW WORDS OF GARBLED GIBBERISH).

(OPEN OF "LITTLE DRUMMER BOY" PLAYED OMINOSO)

TR: This is a warning. The second stanza of the Christmas song, "The Little Drummer Boy," contains electrical impulses that may affect your car's computerized ignition system and inadvertently trigger a massive (EXPLOSION).

(OPEN OF "LITTLE DRUMMER BOY" IN LOWER KEY, MOLTO OMINOSO)

CF: (ON P.A.) Ladies and gentleman, the pilot has turned on the seat belt sign, indicating that we are now on our final approach. Please check to make sure that your seatbelt is securely fastened. We have now reached an altitude at which all electronic devices must be shut off, especially any tape decks playing "The Little Drummer Boy" --- we ask that you....any tape decks playing "The Little Drummer Boy" --- we ask that you.... any tape decks playing "The Little Drummer Boy" --- we ask that you (PLANE GOES INTO DIVE) any tape decks playing "The Little Drummer Boy" --- we ask that you....any tape decks playing "The Little Drummer Boy" --- we ask that you.... any tape decks playing "The Little Drummer Boy" --- we ask that you....

("LITTLE DRUMMER BOY" CHORDS, IN DARKER KEY.....INTO QUIET HORROR MUSIC UNDER....)

GK: The Little Drummer Boy.... it won't go away until we decide to make it go away.

(DRIPS....OCCASIONAL SQUISH)

CF: It's alive.

TR: Yes.

CF: Where did it come from?

TR: Who knows? But they first appeared in the branches of Christmas trees. Starting about two weeks ago. Small transparent spherical shapes hanging from the branches which at first looked like ornamental balls, but then (SQUISH AND DRIP) people noticed them moving and pulsating....

CF: Do they respond to any stimuli?

TR: I don't know.

CF: You haven't tested them?

TR: I'm afraid they might go into a frenzy into a frenzy and multiply explosively and take over people's bodies.

CF: What if we played "The Little Drummer Boy"?

TR: I don't think we should go any farther, Dr. Zaslaw.

CF: Don't be absurd. We're scientists, Dr. Mahoney.

TR: We're treading on dangerous ground, Dr. Zaslaw.

CF: I want to observe this, Dr. Mahoney.

TR: Very well. Here. (FIRST FEW NOTES OF SONG. THEN AN ORGY OF SQUISHING, CF & TR'S HELPLESS CRIES. REVERB OF MASSIVE VISCOUS LIFE FORM.)

GK: "The Little Drummer Boy" can be eradicated but only with the help of every American. Have you done your part? A message in the public interest from this public radio station.

© 1996 BY GARRISON KEILLOR

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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