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Fire & Freezing: Five GOOOOOOLD Rings

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eggshaped
332168.  Wed May 07, 2008 10:08 am Reply with quote

Question: Now we’re in the Christmas spirit, let’s have a little sing-song: can everyone please sing a line of the famous song “12 days of Christmas?”

Forfiet: Five Goooold Rings

Answer: The song “twelve days of Christmas” is a traditional non-copyright song, with the exception of the “Five Gooooold Rings” whose tune was composed by Frederic Austin, and is owned by Novello & Co, Ltd.


Notes:
The song “twelve days of Christmas” probably derives from a traditional parlour game played on Twelfth Night. Each player would have to remember all the items mentioned by previous players and then add one of their own. The game was common to most of Western Europe and Scandinavia, but the song probably comes from France.

As a traditional carol, the words are not covered by copyright, and nor is the melody, with the exception of probably the most famous line “five goooold rings” whose tune was composed by Frederic Austin at the start of the 20th century. This tune is now owned by Novello & Company Limited.

The line “Four Calling Birds” should really read “Four Colly Birds” – a colly bird being a blackbird, and there is a theory that the partridge shouldn’t really be in a pear-tree; apparently this could be a mis-hearing of “perdrix” which is French for “partridge”. In fact, it could be that the first seven gifts all refer to birds, with the gold rings actually referring to five ring-necked birds such as pheasants.

The lyrics are: Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!

The PNC financial services group runs what they call the “Christmas Index” where they judge the price of goods and services by looking at the market price of buying all the gifts from the “Twelve Days”. The latest price was just over $19,500.

Additional sources:
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/12days.asp
http://www.pncchristmaspriceindex.com/
http://birds.suite101.com/article.cfm/a_partridge_in_a_pear_tree

Picture Ideas:
Some carol singers to begin with, then some gold rings, or a picture of items in all the different lines.

Not sure how we should do the forfeit. Maybe it would be funny to bleep the "five gold rings" in post-production. Also I guess we could forfeit "Four calling birds", or even "partridge in a pear-tree" because of the changes in the song - but perhaps that's a bit unfair.

 
Spud McLaren
712728.  Tue May 25, 2010 5:41 pm Reply with quote

Q. Counting a partridge in a pear tree as one, but four calling birds as four, how many gifts did the singer have by day 13?

A. 364. A partridge in a pear tree on each of the 12 days, 2 turtle doves on each day from 2 to 12, etc.

 
Spud McLaren
713728.  Sat May 29, 2010 6:54 am Reply with quote

eggshaped wrote:
Question: Now we’re in the Christmas spirit, let’s have a little sing-song: can everyone please sing a line of the famous song “12 days of Christmas?”

Forfiet: Five Goooold Rings

Answer: The song “twelve days of Christmas” is a traditional non-copyright song, with the exception of the “Five Gooooold Rings” whose tune was composed by Frederic Austin, and is owned by Novello & Co, Ltd.

It may not be original, but it is part of the song - so why the forfeit?

 
Flash
713857.  Sat May 29, 2010 10:09 am Reply with quote

The question we actually asked was:
Quote:
what’s everybody’s favourite bit in the traditional song “12 days of Christmas?”

and that line isn't in the traditional song.

 
Spud McLaren
713859.  Sat May 29, 2010 10:13 am Reply with quote

Ah. But the question asked as this thread's header was, "Now we’re in the Christmas spirit, let’s have a little sing-song: can everyone please sing a line of the famous song “12 days of Christmas?” Nobody mentioned "traditional". And what does "traditional" mean? I would suggest that the common version has been sung for so long now that it is a traditional version.

 
Posital
713913.  Sat May 29, 2010 3:08 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
The question we actually asked was:
Quote:
what’s everybody’s favourite bit in the traditional song “12 days of Christmas?”

and that line isn't in the traditional song.
I thought the point was that the line was in the original song (ignoring the "en"), it's just the tune that changed for that line.

 
Flash
713988.  Sat May 29, 2010 8:56 pm Reply with quote

Spud McLaren wrote:
Ah. But the question asked as this thread's header was, "Now we’re in the Christmas spirit, let’s have a little sing-song: can everyone please sing a line of the famous song “12 days of Christmas?” Nobody mentioned "traditional".

But we did when we made the show, and that's where we had the forfeit.

 
Posital
714002.  Sun May 30, 2010 1:31 am Reply with quote

KLAXON!

Yeah, but this is where we're discussing it.

Minus 1 million points to Flash.

 
dr.bob
714325.  Mon May 31, 2010 4:37 am Reply with quote

The initial research and framing of questions quite often contain errors, which are then cross-checked and highlighted by the other elves. Hopefully, by the time the questions are aired on the show, all the errors have been ironed out, though that's clearly not the case 100% of the time.

If the elves have to respond to quibbles about their initial research, they probably wouldn't have time to do anything else. Best just keep the quibbles to stuff that's been officially put "out there" either in TV shows or books.

 
Spud McLaren
714424.  Mon May 31, 2010 10:18 am Reply with quote

OK.

eggshaped wrote:
The PNC financial services group runs what they call the “Christmas Index” where they judge the price of goods and services by looking at the market price of buying all the gifts from the “Twelve Days”. The latest price was just over $19,500.
Is this the price for one partridge in one pear tree, two turtle doves, etc; or does it take into account the fact that the song stipulates that on each of the days the true love repeated all the gifts bought on the preceeding days - so there'd be twelve partridges in twelve pear trees, twenty-two turtle doves, thirty French hens, etc?

See post 712728.

 
Moosh
714441.  Mon May 31, 2010 10:53 am Reply with quote

The PNC Christmas Price Index only counts each gift once, so last year's $21,465.56 was only the cost of one partridge, one pear tree, two turtle doves, three french hens etc. Looking at the website, the big expenses were paying the 9 ladies dancing, 10 lords a-leaping, 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming.

 
Spud McLaren
714463.  Mon May 31, 2010 2:00 pm Reply with quote

In that case, the total bill is undercharged by a very large factor.

 

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