Monday, 13 December 2010

Thirteenth Day of Advent

- December 13th -

There has been much puzzlement and confusion over the years when we come to sing that well known, and greatly loved, Christmas ditty: The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Recently, I was asked by those lovely, fluffy folk from Dark Fiction Magazine to take one of the ‘Days’ from this song as the starting point for my short fiction piece ‘The Wintermachine’ - which will be appearing in their forthcoming short story anthology ‘Twelve Days’, published on the 21st December as an eBook and audio book.

I’m grateful that they supplied the correct twelve days as they appear in the song because, I’m ashamed to admit, I would never have been able to tell you in what order they were supposed to come.

But, then I thought…how many of us actually would?

Come on, be honest, without hopping onto Google and taking a crafty peak, could you actually name all the twelve days of Christmas in order without making a mistake?

Go on, try it.

We’ll wait for you…

You see. It’s bloody difficult isn’t it. Most of us can get to ‘Five Gold Rings’ and then it all starts to go a bit wonky.

Surprising really as the song is such a popular one at Christmas time. Particularly amongst those who get a bit Brahms & Lizst at the work’s Christmas do (for more on the office party, see the entry for Eighth Day of Advent), and always sing the Five Gold Rings part at an annoying volume!

So, for all those who had trouble naming them all in order earlier (hey, there’s no embarrassment in not knowing, I was one of you too, until a few weeks ago!) here is the full list of the Twelve Days of Christmas, in order.
All together now; one, two, a one two three four…

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
A Partridge in a Pear Tree.
Two Turtle Doves
Three French Hens
Four Colly Birds
Five Gold Rings
Six Geese-a-Laying
Seven Swans-a-Swimming
Eight Maids-a-Milking
Nine Ladies Dancing
Ten Lords-a-Leaping
Eleven Pipers Piping
Twelve Drummers Drumming

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