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Christmas Songs


'The Twelve Days of Christmas'
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

During the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations in Europe were elevated to new heights when people adopted the custom of giving 12 gifts to loved ones, one every day from Christmas to Epiphany. From the grandest of lords to the poorest peasants, the tradition was celebrated with great enthusiasm.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written sometime during the sixteenth century. Although predominantly about the tradition of giving extravagant gifts, this tune also glorified society's passion for "counting songs." Whether singing of golden rings or fat geese, even those unable to buy such luxuries could hold these lyrics as promises of heartfelt gifts to come during this glittering season of giving.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" Lyrics

1. On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

A partridge in a pear tree.

2. On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

3. On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

4. On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and partridge in a pear tree.

5. On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

6. On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Six geese a-laying ...

7. On the seven day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Seven swans a-swimming ...

8. On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Eight maids a-milking ...

9. On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Nine ladies dancing ...

10. On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Ten lords a-leaping ...

11. On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Eleven pipers piping ...

12. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

Twelve drummers drumming ...

Christmas sheet music: "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Our next song is considered by some to be one of the most sacred Christmas hymns. Keep reading to learn more about "Ave Maria."


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