Pat-a-Pan, or Willie Take Your Little Drum

Pat-a-Pan has an engaging rhythm and a beautiful minor melody.

Three versions of "Willie, Take Your Little Drum":

  • one difficult, 
  • one fairly easy, and 
  • one (bottom of the page) for beginners!
Pat-a-Pan, a French Christmas song.  This Christmas sheet music is FREE!

Please scroll down the page for the links to the free printable PDFs.

Four verses of Christmas song lyrics translated from the French original lyrics are included with this free Christmas song... 

"Willie Take Your Little Drum" or "Pat-a-Pan" is unfamiliar to a lot of kids, so you may have to run this one by them a couple of times before they will really "hear" it. This lively, free Christmas sheet music certainly has a different flavor than most of the Christmas songs they know... but it is catchy and beautiful.

Hear the Cantamus Training choir singing an arrangement of this lovely Christmas music:

Here is the free Christmas sheet music for the more difficult arrangement of Pat-a-Pan, with a driving left hand rhythm.

It is the rhythm that mainly makes coordinating the hands together difficult. This arrangement is based on an old one by Ruth Heller, but the right hand is simplified a bit so it flows more easily.

I have NOT put fingering in; I do have an unchanging fingering that I prefer, but your students will probably find their own fingering for this song no matter what I put in here.

Experiment with the phrases, trying different fingering; pencil it in, then encourage them to see how that works for them over the course of the week. They are more apt to try fingering if they had a contributing part in choosing it.

This easier version of Pat-a-Pan, below, doesn't have the driving left hand rhythm of the more difficult version above, but it preserves the beautiful harmonies, and includes all the Christmas song lyrics.

Christmas sheet music from France
French Christmas carol Pat-a-Pan

Please scroll down the page for the links to the free printable PDFs.

Below is a very simple arrangement, a Middle C version for beginners. It works for a duet Primo, and you can use the left hand chord pattern of Version 1 (the hard version, above) for a Secondo! (Just be sure to take the melody part up an octave or two.)

Easy piano song for Christmas

Please scroll down the page for the links to the free printable PDFs.

I left the rhythm of the notes in this beginner's version the same as above in the elementary and intermediate piano arrangements above.

Sure, there are eighth notes in the fast parts, but don't worry about that. 

Instead of turning this song into a chore by imposing "1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &" , not suitable for beginners, you and your students can count it my favorite way for 8th notes:

TAH TAH / TAH TAH TAH TAH / TAH, tee-tee TAH TAH /

TAH-2, TAH-2, / TAH-2, TAH TAH / TAH TAH TAH TAH /

TAH-2, tee-tee-tee-tee / TAH-2, tee-tee-tee-tee / TAH-2, etc.,

with the bold "TAH"s being the first beat of each measure.

Probably most of you do some form of this already!

Kids catch on very quickly that eighth notes move faster.




The links to the piano music:



Download Pat-a-Pan free Christmas sheet music, intermediate level 



Download Pat-a-Pan with Christmas song lyrics, elementary level piano 



Download Willie Take Your Little Drum for beginning piano 








Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

SingTheBibleStory.com clickable logo link

Recent Articles

  1. Free Christmas Songs for Piano, Guitar, & Leads: Deck the Halls

    Free Christmas Songs: Deck the Halls, with a new easy-to-read lead sheet! For piano, guitar, & lead instruments. Kids enjoy this energetic Christmas carol!

    Read More

  2. Thanksgiving Song Lyrics & Music - Over the River & Through the Woods

    Thanksgiving song lyrics & sheet music for Over the River & Through the Woods, an old-fashioned song kids will love to play & sing! EASY solos & duets.

    Read More

  3. Piano Party! Kids Need FUN!

    Piano Party! I decided it was time for my students to get together for some low-stress performances, some cookies, punch & company! Kids need FUN!

    Read More

  4. Thanksgiving Song "For the Beauty of the Earth", Free Downloads

    Thanksgiving song for school, church, or your own pleasure! Now with a new EASY version for piano, 2 NEW piano arrangements, plus voice & other instruments.

    Read More

  5. Hark the Herald Angels Sing Lyrics & Sheet Music

    Hark the Herald Angels Sing - an easy Middle C piano arrangement, pretty elementary & intermediate versions, & a guitar tab arrangement too!

    Read More

  6. Classical Piano Sheet Music - a Collection of Short Introductions

    Classical piano sheet music - Fun, one-page intros! Check out the newest addition - Burgmuller's "Arabesque", with its easy scale-wise melody!

    Read More

  7. Toreador Piano Sheet Music - Easy Late Elementary Arrangements!

    Toreador: Piano sheet music of this famous opera music! These energetic arrangements are EASIER than they sound.

    Read More

  8. Songs Old and Songs New: A Collection for Beginning Piano

    Songs Old and Songs New is a simple & easy way to start your beginner piano students - from piano keyboard sheets & scales & chords, to 265+ pages of music!

    Read More

  9. Kate Emht's Piano Music, at Music-for-Music-Teachers

    Kate Emht is a piano teacher in the United States. See what she composes and arranges for her students!

    Read More

  10. Piano Chord Patterns for Beginners

    Piano chord patterns for beginners to learn broken chords. Help them gain EASE & familiarity with this musical tool!

    Read More

Songs Old & Songs New

All the first-year material I give my beginner students. 

Piano keyboard sheets, scales, chords, note-reading exercises, and over 256 pages of music!

The Story of Esther - a Bible opera!

Queen Esther in the Bible

This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This",  available as a digital downloadtells the riveting story of the time when  Jews in ancient Persia faced a foe named Haman, and how a  brave young queen risked her life to save her people.

A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theater production, or a class of children!

This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.


Just the Black Keys, a piano song book for young beginners.

Just the Black Keys

This book is available as a digital download  from this site.  Visit this page to see some free examples from the book.

It is also available from Amazon as a paperback!

This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.

And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!"  They will be spending more time at the piano.

The Adventures of Tonsta, Volume 1, is a book about a young boy travelling over mountains and fjords from village to village, encountering trolls and helping folk in distress.

The Adventures of Tonsta

A perfect read aloud storybook
for little boys or girls. 

The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble.  

With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes.

Lots of trolls in this book - including one who gives him a Christmas gift!

Available at Amazon

Kate:
Thanks again for your wonderful website and all your fabulous support!! Your website really has been the best resource that I have found for finding that 'right piece' for the students. 

Popular Christmas Carols Coloring Book music book

Carrie,Voice and Piano Teacher:
This site is FABULOUS.

For all the reasons you explain on the site itself--this is exactly what piano teachers need! (I still need to go look at the vocal music). Wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Christmas music book Celtic Woman a Christmas Celebration

California Student:
Hi, I want to thank you for such a wonderful and educational website. I have found all the information you have posted and your comments immensely helpful, and I am grateful for your posting it.

I am sure you are an awesome teacher and person. I am a beginner piano student, so many thanks and Happy New Year.

First 50 Christmas Songs You Should Learn

Sign up for "Take Note!" to see what's new every month.

Comments

Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!

Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...


About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.