English

The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics

The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics

The 12 Days of Christmas” lyrics is an English Christmas carol. A classic example of a cumulative song, the lyrics detail a series of increasingly numerous gifts given to the speaker by their “true love” on each of the twelve days of Christmas (the twelve days that make up the Christmas season, starting with Christmas Day). The carol, whose words were first published in England in the late eighteenth century, has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 68.

Publishedc. 1780
GenreChristmas carol
Composer(s)Traditional with additions by Frederic Austin
The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics

The 12 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 gold 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 gold 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 gold 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 gold 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 gold 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 gold 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 gold 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 gold rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!

More Song Lyrics:

The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics Meaning

“12 Days of Christmas” gifts list:

  • The Partridge in the Pear Tree is Jesus Christ.
  • The 2 Turtle Doves are The Old and New Testaments.
  • The 3 French hens are Faith, Hope and Charity, the theological virtues.
  • The 4 Calling Birds are the four gospels and/or the four evangelists.
  • The 5 Golden Rings are the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The 6 Geese A-laying are the six days of creation.
  • The 7 Swans A-swimming are the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments.
  • The 8 Maids A-milking are the eight beatitudes.
  • The 9 Ladies Dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
  • The 10 Lords A-leaping are the ten commandments.
  • The 11 Pipers Piping are the eleven faithful apostles.
  • The 12 Drummers Drumming are the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed.

Though some scholars believe that the song is French in origin, the first printed appearance of the song was in the English children’s book Mirth With-out Mischief. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s probably because it was published in 1780. You could ask the person who shelled out $23,750 at a Sotheby’s auction for a first edition to borrow their copy. But even so, you may not recognize the lyrics.

In the original lyrics, the “four calling birds” were actually “four colly birds.” The term “colly” is old English slang for blackbirds. In other old versions of the song, the partridge we all know and love is replaced with a “very pretty peacock upon a pear tree.” It wasn’t until 1909 that British composer Frederic Austin penned the version of the lyrics that we are all familiar with today.

More Song Lyrics:

Is The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics Meaning In English included in this article?

Yes, The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics  Meaning in English are included in this article.

Are The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics In English included in this article?

Yes, The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics English are included in this article.

Is The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics Meaning In English included in this article?

Yes, The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics Meaning in English are included in this article.

Are The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics In English included in this article?

Yes, The 12 Days of Christmas Lyrics English are included in this article.

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