How many of the 12 days of Christmas items can you remember from memory?

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 (five golden rings)
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtledoves
And a partridge in a pear tree

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Not always certain on the order with the final few but I know all the elements. Sang it at my daughter’s Christmas concert not long ago so it’s pretty fresh in my head.


The 10 lords


Reckon I could name all twelve things but I have no idea of the order of any of them above six.

Only this week I realised that all of the first seven are all birds, including the five gold rings one.

A partridge in a pear tree
Two turtle doves
Three French hens
Four calling birds
Five gold rings
Six geese a laying
Seven swans a swimming
Eight pipers piping
Nine ladies dancing
Ten swimmers swimming


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if anyone tried to give me all that shit I’d dump them on the spot

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you bought me about 30 birds the place is ruined


This is the premise of a very funny monologue that I once performed at a school Xmas show.





On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Five Golden Rings
This is another case where a literal reading of the verse obscures its true meaning. Why would the benefactor in this ballad vacillate from birds to jewelry to birds again? Another interpretation of this line introduces consistency to the offerings. The golden rings are actually ring-necked birds. Common (Ring-necked) Pheasants (Phasianus colchicus ) were introduced to England from China and other parts of Asia in medieval times. Like so many of the birds of that era, pheasants were yet another source of sustenance.

Yes that definitely sounds more likely :thinking:

Feels like the sort of reach you go for when found out about planning a proposal.

“A gold ring? Ha ha ha. How silly I obviously was talking about ring-neckdd golden pheasants. A very normal and unsuspicious conversation.”

a pre-Father Ted Frank Kelly released a comedy single/monologue with that premise too

Twelve milfs a-milfing


For a reason that goes back to a drunken sesh way back when I was at university I sometimes find myself singing the ending in my head as

Four French hens
Three French hens
And some more French hens
And a French hen in a pear tree

Which is silly but it does amuse me and also I can’t help myself

11 but I should give myself a bonus point for remembering that it could be calling birds or colly birds

Interesting fact about this song: while the melody for days 1-4 and 6-12 has been Public Domain for decades, the ‘five gold rings’ bit has only just become so, as the copyright only lapsed this year (70 years after the composer’s death). It’s why you’d often hear different arrangements for that part in TV or radio broadcasts.

Thinly veiled “I’ve got a new release on the way” post