The Twelve Days of Yule

 

The following is a variation on the famous song about the twelve Days of Christmas from Scotland.

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Gather a few friends around the fire. Have one of them say or sing the first verse aloud. Then have everyone repeat it, the same with the next verse and so on. As the verses get longer, whoever makes a slip in repeating the lines pays a forfeit – any small object they may possess such as a candy or a nut.

(Note also the 13th day of Yule – a sure sign of an ancient origin.)

The Days of Yule

The King sent his lady on the first Yule day
A papingo-aye (exotic parrot).
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the second Yule day
Three partricks (partridges), a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the third Yule day
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the fourth Yule day
A goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the fifth Yule day
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the sixth Yule day
Three goldspinks, three starlings,
a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the seventh Yule day
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the eighth Yule day
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the ninth Yule day
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the tenth Yule day
An Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The King sent his lady on the eleventh Yule day
Three hinds a-merry hunting,
An Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The King sent his lady on the twelfth Yule day
Three maids a-merry dancing,
Three hinds a-merry hunting, An Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The King sent his lady on the thirteenth Yule day
Three stalks a-merry corn,
Three maids a-merry dancing,
Three hinds a-merry hunting, An Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

From: The Winter Solstice

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