little minds

The twelve days of Christmas


“The Twelve Days of Christmas”
Roud No. 68
XRF 12days.jpg
Music by Traditional with additions byFrederic Austin
Published c. 1780
Language English; may be French in origin
Form Cumulative song

The Twelve Days of Christmas” is an English Christmas carol that enumerates in the manner of a cumulative song a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas. The song, first published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme, is thought to be French in origin.[1] “The Twelve Days of Christmas” has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 68. The tunes of collected versions vary. The standard tune now associated with it is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin, who first introduced the now familiar prolongation of the verse “five gold rings”.

Origin

The twelve days in the song are the twelve days starting with Christmas Day, or in some traditions, the day after Christmas (December 26) (Boxing Day or St. Stephen’s Day, as being the feast day of St. Stephen Protomartyr), to the day before Epiphany, or the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6, or the Twelfth Day). Twelfth Night is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking.”[2] The best known English version was first printed in English in 1780 in a little book intended for children, Mirth without Mischief, as a Twelfth Night “memories-and-forfeits” game, in which a leader recited a verse, each of the players repeated the verse, the leader added another verse, and so on until one of the players made a mistake, with the player who erred having to pay a penalty, such as offering up a kiss or a sweet.[3] One hundred years later, Lady Gomme, a collector of folktales and rhymes, described how it used to be played every Twelfth Day night before eating mince pies and twelfth cake.[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twelve_Days_of_Christmas_(song)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQEOBZLx-Z8?feature=oembed&w=500&h=281%5D

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Twelve drummers drumming, Eleven pipers piping, Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming, Six geese a-laying, Five golden rings, Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.

A partridge in a pear tree Two turtle doves, Three French hens, Four calling birds, Five golden rings, Six geese a-laying, Seven swans a-swimming, Eight maids a-milking, Nine ladies dancing, Ten lords a-leaping, Eleven pipers piping, Twelve drummers drumming.

 

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