This is one of my personal favourite Christmas songs. My Grandmother, Marion (Davy) Foreman taught me all the Christmas carols and we would start practicing them in November. She played the piano and we both sang. When I could read music, I was in charge of turning the pages. With The Twelve Days of Christmas I would sing the numbers as fast as I could to see if I could sing them all before she could play them all on the piano. I always won the race and we would laugh and laugh. These are some of the best Christmas memories.
The twelve days of Christmas lie between December 25 and Epiphany, January 6. it was on January 6 that the Three Magi brought gifts to the Christ Child in the manger - the first Christmas gifts! It was a common folk belief that on the even of January 6 animals were given the power of speech.
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 day. The song, published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme, is thought to be French in origin. 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, who first introduced the now familiar prolongation of the verse "five gold rings".