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This is a track from American singer-songwriter David Archuleta's first Christmas album, Christmas From The Heart.
This traditional minor-key carol is basically a French version of the Little Drummer Boy
story. The song revolves around the birth of Jesus Christ, and is told from the perspective of shepherds playing simple instruments--flutes and drums. The onomatopoetic title, "patapan," is meant to mimic the sound of the drum, and an accompanying lyric, "tu-re-lu-re-lu," the flute.
Archuleta sings part of this in French - it was the first time that the 18-year-old singer had spoken the language. USA Today, noting the album's credits include a pronunciation assistant for this song, asked David if she was in the studio with him. He replied: "No. We were just like, 'These are French lyrics. I don't speak them, and I don't think I'm saying them right.' My keyboardist's friend spoke French, so the night before, we just called her and said, 'Hey! Can you help me with these words?' She just went over them on the phone with me, and I was, like, 'Thank you, because I'm going to have to record them in the morning.' It was pretty funny. It was someone I had known already, but I guess they were my coach for the day."
American composer and arranger Kurt Bestor did the arrangement, with The Prague Philharmonic strings enriching its melody. Archuleta told USA Today: "We were trying to give it a more contemporary feel, a more modernized thing. It's hard, because it's a pretty short song. They actually had to add to the song and make it an original arrangement of the song. I really like how it came out. Kurt did a great job with it."
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