Learn English with a funny traditional Christmas song. In the UK and in North America, people love to sing Christmas songs during the December holiday season. You'll hear these songs playing in shops at this time as well. You won't really be able to avoid these songs no matter what, even if you HATE them, so it would help if you understood the words to one or two of them, right? Because these songs have been around for a long time, you'll learn different vocabulary from these songs than you would from current pop music. Expand your vocabulary and your lungs at the same time and sing along with me!
TAKE THE QUIZ OR SANTA WON'T BRING YOU A PRESENT: https://www.engvid.com/the-12-days-of-christmas-sing-and-learn-english/
Hello. I'm Gill at engVid, and today we're going to be looking at a song, and it's a Christmas song. So, Christmas in the UK, Christmas Day is the 25th of December, but the Christmas period is longer than just one day. There are different versions and different traditions, but one tradition is that there are 12 days of Christmas. So, in that tradition the 12 days of Christmas run from the 25th of December through to the 5th of January, and the 5th of January is known as 12th night. Okay, and it's the time, the date when you start taking down all the Christmas decorations, get rid of the tree if you had a tree, put things away, get back to normal again, Christmas is over.
So... But this song has come out of that 12-day tradition, and it's quite a funny song because some... It's about somebody who sends his girlfriend a present on each day of the 12 days of Christmas. But it's not just one present each time, it's... It's the present for that day, but also all the presents from the previous day as well, so it's sort of... It's a huge number of presents and it's impossible, really, for it to happen, but this is it. So, when I say: "12 days of Christmas", of course people joke about Christmas starting around October because if you walk into a supermarket in the UK, probably in other countries as well where Christmas is celebrated, the supermarkets often put their Christmas things out in October, and you go in and you see mince pies, Christmas cards for sale, and Christmas puddings, and: "Oh no, not Christmas already and it's only October", so Christmas sometimes feels like 12 weeks, not 12 days, but anyway, this song limits it to 12 days. So let's have a look at the words.
So, it begins... And I will teach you the tune as well in a minute. It begins: "On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a Partridge in a Pear Tree." So, a partridge is a kind of bird, okay; and a pear tree, a tree which grows pears obviously. Okay, so that's the first day. Just one present. But then by the second day: "On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love sent to me 2 Turtle Doves", that's two more birds, doves, "and a Partridge in a Pear Tree". So, now the recipient... The person receiving the gifts has two pear trees with two partridges and two turtle doves by the end of day two. Okay?
So, this is a song, so at this point I think I need to sing you how it sounds so far. So, here we go: "On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a Partridge in a Pear Tree. On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love sent to me 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree." Okay, so that's how it goes. It's quite repetitive. It's the same tune all the way through, basically, but I'll sing it again as we go through, as the song gets longer and longer. And you'll see also that this is quite a useful song for learning the numbers when you say: "First, 2nd, 3rd" because in English when you put the number and "nd" or "3rd", "4" and then after... From 4 onwards you have "th", but can see the "st", when you have "first" you put "1st", "second, 2nd; third, 3rd", and then "fourth, 4th". So this song helps you with those numbers as well.
Okay, so the 3rd day... "On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love sent to me 3 French Hens", so more birds. Lots of birds flying around. 3 French hens, whatever French hens are, I'm not sure, but there we are. So, third day the person receives three French hens, two turtle doves, and another partridge in a pear tree, so all of these things are adding up. Okay. Fourth day, are you ready? Are you still with me? So: "On the 4th day of Christmas my true love sent to me 4 Calling Birds". So, more birds, calling. The birds that make calling sounds. "4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree." Okay?
So, the fifth day, this line is a little bit different because it sort of slows down and there's a bit of a pause, so it's a good place to breathe a bit. So: "On the 5th day of Christmas my true love sent to me 5 Gold Rings." So, that's a bit slower and you can take your time over that. "5 Gold Rings, 4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree." So, okay, and so it goes on. So you get the idea of how the song works.