The Twelve Days of Christmas (song)
The song was published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme. It is a cumulative song, meaning that each verse is built on top of the previous verses. The standard tune now associated with it is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin.
About The Twelve Days of Christmas (song) in brief
The song was published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme. It is a cumulative song, meaning that each verse is built on top of the previous verses. There are twelve verses, each describing a gift given by \”my true love\” on one of the twelve days of Christmas. The standard tune now associated with it is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin. A similar cumulative verse from Scotland, ‘The Yule Days’, has been likened to The Twelve Days of Christmas in the scholarly literature. In the Faroe Islands, there is a comparable counting Christmas song. The song was recorded on the borders of the Pas de Calais by the Flanders in the 16th century. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 68. The lyrics given here are from FredericAustin’s 1909 publication that established the current form of the carol. For ease of comparison with Austin’s 1909 version given above, differences in wording, ignoring capitalisation and punctuation, are indicated in italics ; items that do not appear at all in Austin’s version are indicated in bold italics.
The final verse, as published in de Coussemaker, Chants Populaires des Flamands de France, runs as follows: Le douzièm’ jour d’année, Que me donn’rez vous mie? Onze co chantants, Dix pigeons, Neuf bufs, Huit mordons, Six courinqins, Six mordants, Six Courts de Quatran. Six courins de Quetrelles, Quat’ canards volant l’air, Trois bois de Trois ramees, Undrixis, Un Drixis perdrix, Un Qui va va, volei va, Qui vole dans les bois dans la vie de Quotrellle, Un drixis de Quattrelllez, Un vole volez de la vole de la Quatrellesse, Un deux volevole de La Quatrivole, Un Deux voulez de la quatrive, Un duque de laqué de Laqué, Un Duque de l’Air, Un Douze Mois, Le Douze mois, La Douze vole, Le Quatrie de laQuatrie d’Aigle, Le Duque d’Orléans, Le Nouveu de la Nouveur, Le Touche de la Chaudière, L’Aire de la Ligue, La Nouveau de La Chaudiere, Le Tour de la Manche, La Château de la Garenne, Le Grand Monde, Le Manche de La Ligne, La Lune, Le Lune de La Moutier, Le Grande Manche.