Sunday, January 23, 2022

Third time might be charm

Perhaps the most famous cumulative story is "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" but I'm not going to tax your patience by boring you with it.

Instead, friends, I am going to treat you (treat, I say) to "The Twelve Days AFTER Christmas" by Frederick Silver, a man about whom I can find nothing except that this song of his was published in 1968.

"The Twelve Days After Christmas"
by Frederick Silver

The first day after Christmas my true love and I had a fight
And so I chopped the pear tree down and burned it just for spite
Then with a single ca-a-a-rtridge
I shot that blasted pa-a-a-rtridge
My true love, my true love, my true love gave to me

The second day after Christmas I pulled on the old rubber gloves
And very gently wrung the necks of both the turtle doves
My true love, my true love, my true love gave to me

The third day after Christmas my mother caught the croup
I had to use the three French hens to make some chicken soup

The four calling birds were a big mistake
For their language was obscene

The five golden rings were completely fake
And they turned my fingers green

The sixth day after Christmas the six laying geese wouldn't lay
I gave the whole darn gaggle to the A.S.P.C.A.**

On the seventh day what a mess I found
All seven of the swimming swans had drowned
My true love, my true love, my true love gave to me

The eighth day after Christmas, before they could suspect
I bundled up the...
Eight maids a-milking
Nine ladies dancing
Ten lords a-leaping
Eleven pipers piping
Twelve drummers drumming
(Well, actually, I kept one of the drummers)
And sent them back collect

I wrote my true love "We are through, love"
And I said in so many words
"Furthermore, your Christmas gifts were for the birds."

In the music, the melody line holds out the last word, "birds", while the other parts sing "Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree".

** American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Here endeth our focus on cumulative stories.

Thanks be to God.


  1. That's clever, funny and thanks for sharing it Bob.

  2. That fits perfectly with my view of the flummery that goes with Christmas.

    1. Graham, being a non-Brit and all I had to look up flummery. It meant just what I gathered it did.

  3. I remember hearing this one but it was a long time ago. 1968 is a long time ago!

    1. Red, In 1968 Mrs. RWP and I had been married for five years , were living in Poughkeepsie, New York, had our third child, and IBM j(which all IBMers know stands for I've Been Moved) moved us to Boca Raton, Florida. In many ways it feels like yesterday but you are right, it was a long time ago.

  4. I haven't heard that one. It's a good one.

    1. Bonnie, I am happy to have introduced it to you, or you to it.


<b>God’s in his Heaven; all’s right with the world</b>

It's still only May but summer is arriving early as we speak. The weather this week has been magnificent with clear blue skies, occasi...