program notes by composition > P > Pat-a-Pan (Longfield)


Bernard de la Monnoye/arr. by Chip Davis & Robert Longfield

Pat-a-Pan is a traditional French Christmas carol about the birth of Jesus Christ. It is told from the perspective of shepherds playing simple instruments -- flutes and drums -- the onomatopoetic sound of which gives the song its name. "Patapan" is meant to mimic the sound of the drum.

Composer Bernard de La Monnoye (1641 - 1728) initially heeded his father’s wish to become a lawyer in Dijon but then mustered ... the courage to abandon jurisprudence for a literary career. He became a poet, composer and philologue (one who loves literature) and is known chiefly for composing Christmas in Bourgogne which includes this tune. This band arrangement by Robert Longfield is based on an arrangement by Chip Davis for Mannheim Steamroller .

Last updated on April 21, 2015 by Palatine Concert Band