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12 Days of Christmas

The English Christmas carol 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' enumerates in the manner of a cumulative song a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas (starting with Christmas Day, the twelve days make up the Christmas season). The song was first published in England in 1780 without music as a rhyme or chant, although it is thought to be French in origin.

This carol often comes up in Christmas quizzes. A typical question would be: "In the song 'The Twelve Days Of Christmas', what did my true love give to me on the twelfth day"? Answer: "Drummers Drumming".



Lyrics to The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave 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 gave 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 gave 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 gave 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 gave 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
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 gave 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 gave 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 gave 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




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