“Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy“ is one of my favourite Christmas songs…The duet is amazing, David Bowie and Bing Crosby, two unique, powerful, stunning, and shiver-inducing voices ever.
“Little Drummer Boy” is a 1941 Christmas song (originally known as “Carol of the Drum”, based on a traditional Czech carol) written by the American classical music composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis.
“Peace on Earth” was written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Alan Kohan, to add to especially for that recording because Bowie hated “Little Drummer Boy” so they had Bing Crosby sing most of it.
It was recorded September 11, 1977 for Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas special. The dialogue they exchanged was scripted. Bowie was attempting to normalize his image by appearing on Crosby’s Christmas special. Crosby was doing it for the ratings, Bowie was a huge and attention-getting name. Sadly Bing Crosby died on October 14, 1977 and the TV special aired posthumously, November 30, 1977.
This is an oft parodied (some of my favs include: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! Sung by Stephen Colbert and Willie Nelson; Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly for Funny or Die – wait for the end, it’s worth it; and Craig Kilborn and Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü on Comedy Central) and referenced duet; most likely because the improbability of its performer