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The Twelve Days Of Christmas Christmas Song

The Twelve Days Of Christmas

Year: 1842

Written By: James O. Halliwell

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me…this verse of the popular Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas has rang out on many doorsteps through the ages on Christmas. It is an upbeat cheerful song that symbolizes love, giving and holiday cheer. Just what the majority of people are feeling during the holiday season.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is an English Christmas carol first published in England in a children's book entitled Mirth without Mischief. There are indications that the song is actually of French Origins however. The original author is unknown but it is also said that the song is older than the printed version although not by much.

The Twelve days in the song are the 12 days starting Christmas day and its specific origins are not known. It possibly began as a twelfth night game known as Memories and forfeits. This is a game where the leader says a phrase and the followers have to repeat it until someone misses. That person has to forfeit a kiss or something else to the winner.

Emily Brown who had heard it in an English music store and decided to use it for a Christmas pageant she was arranging at her school brought the Twelve Days of Christmas to the United States in 1910.

The first well-known recording of the song was by English scholar James O. Halliwell in 1842. Then in the early 20th century English composer, Fredric Austin wrote and added his melody form five gold rings. This is the standard version of the song that is popular today. There are versions of the popular carol in France, Scotland, and Australia.

The symbolism of The Twelve Days of Christmas has been argued through the decades. Some say the symbolism is political and others say it is religious. Either way it is a song that is fun and one of the most popular Christmas songs today.

The song has spawned many parodies and artist recording the original for their own Christmas albums. Some of the most notable are Burl Ives in 1951, Frank Sinatra with his three children in 1968, The Muppets and John Denver in 1979, and the cast of Twin Peaks in 1990. Jeff Foxworthy recorded his own parody entitled The Redneck 12 days of Christmas in 1996. The most recent recording was on Phineas and Ferb's Holiday favorites in 2010.

No matter the origins or the symbolism of The Twelve Days of Christmas, the song has long been a holiday favorite and is expected to remain so for a very long time to come.

 

The Twelve Days Of Christmas Lyrics

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

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

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

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent 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 sent 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 sent 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 sent 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 sent 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 sent 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 sent 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 sent 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 sent 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!

 

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