Twelve Days Of Christmas

Video twelve days of christmas

25 October 2023, 15:50

A partridge in a pear tree
A partridge in a pear tree. Picture: Getty

It comes up every Christmas, and every year you forget the words (bar ‘Five Gold Rings’, of course). Here’s a handy guide to ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, including its lyrics and meaning.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is a rootin’-tootin’, singalong Christmas carol that runs through the twelve days that make up the Christmas season – beginning on Christmas Day and ending on 6 January, the day before Epiphany.

Each day represents a new gift, starting with ‘a partridge in a pear tree’ and ending with ‘twelve drummers drumming’.

It’s a traditional English tune dating back to the 1700s, which some historians actually believe to have French origins.

The version we know best came from Frederic Austin, an English composer who set the lyrics and added some flourishes – including the drawn out “five go-old rings” – in 1909.

The carol is a cumulative song, which means that each verse is built on top of the previous verses.

Read more: The origins of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ – lyrics, numbers and timings explained

What are the lyrics to ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’?

On the first day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meA partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meTwo turtle dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

On the third day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meThree French hens,Two turtle dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

On the fourth day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meFour calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

Xem thêm  Em đi Bỏ Lại Con đường

On the fifth day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meFive golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

On the sixth day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meSix geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

Read more: The 30 greatest Christmas carols of all time

Twelve drummers drumming
Twelve drummers drumming. Picture: Getty

On the seventh day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meSeven swans a-swimming,Six geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eighth day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meEight maids a-milking,Seven swans a-swimming,Six geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.On the ninth day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meNine 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 dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

On the tenth day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meTen 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 dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eleventh day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meEleven 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 dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of ChristmasMy true love gave to meTwelve 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 dovesAnd a partridge in a pear tree.

Listen to all the greatest festive music in one place, with our Classic FM Christmas playlist.