maandag 15 februari 2016

Twelve Days Of Christmas (1780 / 1909)



"The Twelve Days of Christmas" is an English Christmas carol that enumerates in the manner of a cumulative song a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas (the twelve days after Christmas).
The song was published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme in a children's book "Mirth Without Mischief", as a Twelfth Night "memories-and-forfeits" game, in which a leader recited a verse, each of the players repeated the verse, the leader added another verse, and so on until one of the players made a mistake, with the player who erred having to pay a penalty, such as offering up a kiss or a sweet
It was printed in London by J. Davenport, George's Court. For C. Sheppard No 8 Aylesbury Street, Clerkenwell.

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/books-manuscripts-n09237/lot.192.html

The title page on "Mirth Without Mischief" says “Sung at King Pepin’s ball”, so this could mean the origin of the song is French.

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There is no English King Pepin, but Pepin the Short was the father of Charlemagne. Pepin was King of the Franks from 751 until his death in 768. Another piece of evidence for French origin is that the partridge was unknown in England until 1770s when it was introduced from France. And the song has that light, dancing feel of a French carol.

https://historymyths.wordpress.com/tag/twelve-days-of-christmas-song/

In the earliest versions, the word "On" is not present at the beginning of each verse—for example, the first verse begins simply "The first day of Christmas".
"On" was added in Frederic Austin's 1909 version, and became very popular thereafter.
In the earliest known book printing of "The Twelve Days of Christmas", Mirth Without Mischief (ca. 1780), we have these lyrics;

The first day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

The second day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The third day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The fourth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The fifth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Five gold rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The sixth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Six geese a laying,
Five gold rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The seventh day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Seven swans a swimming,
Six geese a laying,
Five gold rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

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 colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The ninth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Nine drummers drumming, Eight maids a milking,
Seven swans a swimming,
Six geese a laying,
Five gold rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The tenth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a milking,
Seven swans a swimming,
Six geese a laying,
Five gold rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The eleventh day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,  Eight maids a milking,
Seven swans a swimming,
Six geese a laying,
Five gold rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Twelve lords a leaping,
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming, 
Eight maids a milking,
Seven swans a swimming,
Six geese a laying,
Five gold rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/twelve_days_of_christmas-1.htm

It was also published as an anonymous broadside, Angus, Newcastle, 1774–1825:

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http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/static/images/sheets/10000/09435.gif

http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/search/roud/68

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 68.

http://www.vwml.org/record/RoudBS/B218490

https://mainlynorfolk.info/john.kirkpatrick/songs/thetwelvedaysofchristmas.html

The tunes of collected versions vary. The standard tune now associated with it is derived from a 1909 arrangement of a traditional folk melody by English composer Frederic Austin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic_Austin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twelve_Days_of_Christmas_%28song%29




More versions here: http://www.originals.be/en/originals.php?id=14488

And here: http://secondhandsongs.com/work/124809/versions#nav-entity




The song was sung by Mrs. Susie Morrison (recorded by Alton Chester Morris for the Library Of Congress in 1937). This recording was never officially released.

http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.afc.afc9999005.5216/enlarge.html?from=default

On page 144 of the Index to the Field Recordings in the Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury College Middlebury, Vermont, a 1930 Field Recording by Mrs Ora Knapp from Dummerston, Vermont is mentioned.

http://sites.middlebury.edu/flanders/files/2013/09/Index_to_the_Field_recordings_in_the_Flanders_Ballad_Collection_at_Middlebury_College_Middlebury_Vermont_OCR1.pdf

http://www.vwml.org/record/RoudFS/S254563



The first released recording I could find:

(o) Tom Glazer (1943)
Released on the album "Tom Glazer Sings Olden Ballads" (Keynote album 131)

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Listen here:





(c) Nelson Eddy (1946)

http://www.discogs.com/Nelson-Eddy-With-Robert-Armbruster-And-His-Orchestra-The-Twelve-Days-Of-Christmas/release/7872679

http://www.45worlds.com/78rpm/record/651

Listen here:





(c) Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians (1947)

http://www.discogs.com/Fred-Waring-And-His-Pennsylvanians-White-Christmas-Twelve-Days-Of-Christmas/release/1576393

Listen here:





(c) Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters (1949)

http://www.discogs.com/Bing-Crosby-Andrews-SistersWith-Vic-Schoen-And-His-Orchestra-Twelve-Days-Of-Christmas-Here-Comes-San/release/5987463

Listen here:





(c) Burl Ives (1951)

http://www.45cat.com/record/mjv4124

Listen here:





(c) Perry Como (1953)

http://www.45cat.com/record/wby43

Listen here:





(c) Ames Brothers (1953)

http://www.45cat.com/record/ec82017

Listen here:





(c) Bob and Ron Copper (1955)
Bob and Ron Copper sang it in a Peter Kennedy recording on the album "Folk Song Today"(HMV DLP 1143)

https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/records/folksongtoday.html

Listen here:



Or listen here: http://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Reg-Hall-Archive/025M-C0903X0198XX-1700V0

Or here: http://footstompinrecords.bandcamp.com/track/the-twelve-days-of-christmas-bob-and-ron-copper-sussex

In his song book of 1936 Jim Copper called this song "Christmas Presents", and this title has been used for the reissue of Bob and Ron Copper's 1950s recording on the 2007 CD Coppers at Christmas.

https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/records/copperfamily.html#coppersatchristmas



(c) Springfields (1962)

http://www.45cat.com/record/p125

Listen here:





(c) The Beatles (1964)

On October 26, 1964 The Beatles recorded a parody on "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" to be released as a Christmas record.

http://www.discogs.com/Beatles-The-Seven-Years-Of-Christmas/release/5059998

Listen here (at 2 minutes and 46 seconds in the next YT)





(c) The Sinatra Family (1968)
Frank Sinatra and his children, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Nancy Sinatra, and Tina Sinatra, included their own version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" on their 1968 album, The Sinatra Family Wish You a Merry Christmas

Listen here:





(c) John Denver and The Muppets (1979)
The Muppets and singer-songwriter John Denver performed "The Twelve Days of Christmas" on the 1979 television special "John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together".
It was featured on the album of the same name. The song has been recorded by the Muppets five different times, featuring different Muppets in different roles each time

Listen here:





(c) Swingles (=Swingle Singers) (1986)
Released on the album "Christmas" (Polydor 5206)

http://www.discogs.com/The-Swingles-Christmas/release/5725344

http://www.jazzhistoryonline.com/Swingle_Discography_2.html



(c) Cliff Richard (1991)

http://www.45cat.com/record/xmas91

Listen here:





(c) Roger McGuinn (2000)
Recorded in 2000 for his Folk Den Project.

http://www.ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden-wp/?p=6918

Listen here: http://ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden/php/music/12days.mp3



In 2002 Destiny's Child only needed 8 days in stead of 12 to reach the US charts




A special Creature Comforts orchestral arrangement of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was made by British animator Nick Park and Aardman Animations. Featuring different animals discussing or trying to remember the lyrics of the song, it was released on Christmas Day 2005

See this animated clip here:







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