John Speller's Web Pages The Thirteen Days of Yule (Scottish)

John Speller's Web Pages - Christmas Carols
The Thirteen Days of Yule (Scottish)
This is a carol related to the familiar carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," and is said to have been sung to the same tune, although I have been unable to figure out how. In referring to the Thirteen Days of Yule, it represents an earlier and more pagan variant of this kind of carol. There were various versions circulating in the British Isles; this particular recension of the text is from Scotland:

The King sent his Lady on the first Yule day
A papingo-aye. [? parrot or peacock]
Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the second Yule day
Two partridges and a papingo-aye, &c.

Third day - Three plovers
Fourth day - A goose that was grey
Fifth day - Three starlings
Sixth day - Three gold spinks
Seventh day - A bull that was brown
Eighth day - Three ducks a-merry laying
Ninth day - Three swans a-merry swimming
Tenth day - an Arabian baboon
Eleventh day - Three hinds a-merry dancing
Twelfth day - Two maids a-merry dancing
and Thirteenth day - Three stalks of corn

[Each followed by "Who learns my carol, &c."]

Bringing in the Yule Log
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