Footnotes 1. The words to this Christmas song were first published in English in the late 1700s as a rhyme in a book called Mirth without Mischief , likely derived from a much older French song of similar sturcture and content, Les Douze Mois. The pheasant interpretation matches the culinary theme of the other 6 birds in the song, but the goldfinch was a popular cage bird in the 18th century. Four Calling Birds — Michelle de Villiers.
Notify me of new comments via email. The melodic break in the song suggests a change of theme but the melody was added more than a century after the words.
Previous Previous post: The subsequent versions are undoubtedly the result of mis-hearings and misinterpretations. In mediaeval England, those 12 days were presided over by the Lord of Misrule and in Scotland by the Abbott of Unreason , both titles that I would be proud to bear.
Counting the 5 golden rings there are 28 birds in The Twelve Days of Christmas but I will be lucky to see even 28 individual birds on a day out in the winter woods here. The now familiar tune was not written until 1905 by the English composer Frederic Austin who adapted it from a traditional English folk melody. Like Loading... You are commenting using your WordPress. Next Next post: Post was not sent - check your email addresses!
You are commenting using your Facebook account. Post to Cancel. I find the secular interpretations to be far more interesting and valid.
Some of these variants are undoubtedly Mondegreens , but they were often probably just attempts to make the words more relevant to a contemporary audience. Like this: Just read your 12 days of Christmas post. Three French Hens — History of Ornithology.