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The 12 Days of Christmas Song and Its Meaning

Its that time of year again. A time when you hear the same 25 Christmas songs over and over again sang by every single popular artist to ever create a hit single since 1945.  The radio stations change their format allowing you to hear these 25 Christmas songs for 24 hours for 3 months.  And for some strange reason i like this.  

One song that has always tickled my tummy and that i cringe everytime i hear it is - and i'm certain you guessed it by the title of this blog - The 12 Days of Christmas.  


What's to like about it.  Its basically a song that teaches you how to count backwards.  The lyrics have no relevant meaning AT ALL in today's society and yet it is still played and remade over and over again.  I hate it.  In fact, i despise it.  

Here are the lyrics to the song:




12 Drummers Drumming
11 Pipers Piping
10 Lords-a-Leaping
Ladies Dancing
Maids-a-Milking
Swans-a-Swimming
Geese-a-Laying
Gold Rings
Colly Birds
French Hens[4]
Turtle Doves
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

And that's it!  There is nothing more to it.  But somehow this song takes 45 minutes to go through and contains the same melody the entire time with the exception of the fun-fulfilled way of singing the 5th day.  Booo.  

First off, when the hell does the 12 days of Christmas even start. I assume it is on the 12th which is today, but what the hell do i know!  Wikipedia states the following:

The Twelve Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning Christmas Day (25 December). This period is also known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. The Twelfth Night of Christmas is always on the evening of 5 January, but the Twelfth Day can either precede or follow the Twelfth Night according to which Christian tradition is followed.[1] 

hmmm... ok.. so apparently I am Polish and very wrong.  Perhaps the name of this blog should be simply The 12 Days Before Christmas.  Oh well.   Anyways, back to the song...

So let's break down "the lyrics" starting with the 12th day.  

12 Drummers Drumming - Ok.  Maybe in 1832 it was cool to have a drummer drumming as a present but i dont get it.  Is your true love supposed to get you 12 dudes from the movie Drum Roll to drum away in your living room??  

11 Pipers Piping - We can assume that a piper is a person who plays a pipe instrument and him playing would be considered piping OR we can assume that there are 11 people laying pipe or shagging rotten in your living room on Christmas Day OR 11 dudes smoking pipes piping away OR 11 Union pipe workers laying down sprinkler pipes in your house?  No clue

10 Lords a Leaping - This one really stumps me.  Are we assuming that my lovely wife will summons 10 different Lords and have them jumping around my living room??

9 Ladies Dancing - This one is an obvious one.  Who doesn't want 9 strippers pole dancing in your living room on Christmas Day!?   Now thats a great present*  ( * to my lovely wife - i am only joking )

8 Maids a Milking - What the shit?  Are we to believe that it is possible to have 8 maids milking one another in the same room at the same time?  I'd like to attend this party!  Seriously, what is a maid a milking!   It just sounds incredibly dirty.... and messy! 

7 Swans a Swimming - Are the swans for food?   Otherwise who the hell wants 7 swans swimming around in their bathtub?

6 Geese a Laying - Ok.  The only thing that i know that geese lay is shit..and A LOT OF IT!  What a nightmare this would be to have 6 geese a laying at your home.  

5 Gold Rings - Probably the best present on the list hence the cool way to sing 5 GOOOLLLLDD RINGSSSSS.  

4 Colly Birds - What the hell is a Colly Bird?  .. Ok so i looked it up.  It's a Blackbird.  With all these birds as gifts wouldnt they fly away immediately??  Is this what the Lords a Leaping is for to leap around and chase all the birds?

3 French Hens - What is up with all these birds?  Unless this is referring to 3 French ladies looking for a little one on one time? 

2 Turtle Doves - Yup.. you guessed it.  More birds.  This is getting exhausting.  

and finally A Partridge in a Pear Tree - So apparently it was quite bad ass to have lots of birds as either pets or food or who knows.  Why on earth would one want a partridge?  Just give me the pear tree.  Shit with all this bird meat one can use a little fiber!  

That was time consuming just like the song.  But if you were to take all these precious gifts and put them into 1 room, this is what it would look like:





The next time you hear this song think of this above picture...and then change the station. 

Merry Christmas!! 

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