Drumming up support

Last Wednesday, sixteen-year-old Sean Quigley from Winnipeg, Manitoba, uploaded a video of himself singing The Little Drummer Boy and playing the drums in the snow – wearing cut-off jeans in the below-zero temperature (the average in Winnipeg last week was minus 6°C) [1]. Sean says, “Me and my sister just dragged the drum kit over to a trail by my house, and… dumped some snow on it, and just… hit them really hard.” Sean arranged the music, played all the instruments, sang, and directed and edited the video. His sister, some friends, and several international students from his high school helped.

In a radio interview with Larry Updike on CBC’s “Up to Speed” on 1 December, Sean explained how the whole thing came about. He also had some interesting things to say about the song and its meaning, and the universality of its message. The video includes Christmas greetings in several languages.

Listen to the interview or download it.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happier drummer. In the video Sean looks like he’s having a ball. Yet, I think it and the radio interview also reveal a young man who thinks deeply about the world and his place in it. He’s evidently touched a lot of people: at the time of writing this the video has been viewed nearly 127,000 times. Did all those visitors enjoy the enthusiastic way he belts those drums? Perhaps it’s his singing… or the message. Or maybe they just can’t believe a shorts-wearing teenager is actually drumming out in the snow. Whatever, Sean Quigley may have become another internet legend.

Sean made it onto the TV news, too. Some of the information above came from this report. I thought Canadians spoke English, but I’m not sure that the female newsreader is :).

[1] Weather Underground: History for Winnipeg, MN, Week of November 27, 2011 through December 3, 2011, accessed 5 December 2011.