HISTORY OF THE SOURCE MATERIAL (12 Days of Christmas) “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is an English Christmas carol that was published in England in 1780. The original version was done without music and was performed as a chant.
Original Post Date: December 11, 20017
Date Posted To This Site: September 16, 2021
Host(s): Don Caron
News Source: Parody Project
The standard tune now associated with The 12 Days of Christmas is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin. He was the one who came up with the catchy little break in the middle of the verses that we recognize as “five gold rings.”
There are various historic versions of the lyrics from different countries. For example, from Scotland we have this:
The king sent his lady on the thirteenth Yule day,
Three stalks o’ merry corn,
Three maids a-merry dancing,
Three hinds a-merry hunting,
An Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a-merry laying,
A bull that was brown,
A goose that was grey,
A pippin go aye;
Wha learns my carol and carries it away?
“Pippin go aye” (also spelled “papingo-aye” in later editions) is a Scots word for peacock or parrot.