John Speller's Web Pages The Twelve Days of Christmas (Version 1)

John Speller's Web Pages - Somerset Carols
The Twelve Days of Christmas (Version 1)
This is one of two Somerset versions of the familiar carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," collected by Cecil Sharp (1859-1924). Unlike the familiar version of this carol, it begins on the twelfth day and counts down. The tune suggests the ringing of bells, and Cecil Sharp's accompaniment is brilliant in bringing out this aspect of the text. Incidentally, a "colley bird" is a coal-colored bird -- i.e., a blackbird. This is probably an earlier version than the familiar "calling bird."

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A colley bird
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