Patapan is a French Christmas song that was written by Bernard de La Monnoye, a lawyer, poet, and critic who lived from 1641 to 1728. The song’s original Burgundian title is "Guillô, Pran Ton Tamborin" which translates to "Willie, Bring Your Little Drum." It was published in 1720 in his book Noël bourguignons. The poem makes reference to playing a fife and drum, and the song is usually played at a spirited tempo, with a lively feel. Even though it is one of the few popular Christmas carols that is in a minor key, it is an uplifting, spritely melody. Arrangements often feature flute players, and one of the most notable recordings of Patapan is by James Galway.
Select the song image below for a printable PDF of Patapan. Scroll down for more versions of the carol in several other keys. The carol is also available in arrangements for all woodwind, brass, strings, and recorders.
For a countdown to Christmas, visit the How Many Days Until Christmas page. The Two Happy Bears are excited about the holiday and are eagerly counting every second!
You can also practice all of your Christmas music with a sleigh bell metronome!
Play-Along arrangements of Patapan. These pages have versions of the song for band and string instruments for you to play with other musicians:
More keys! Select a link below for a printable PDF of Patapan in any of the following keys, for treble, bass, and alto clef.