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1st Day of Christmas Haiku, #Christmas, #partridge, #peartree via @PatFurstenberg

1st Day of Christmas Sunday Haiku: Haiku-San, A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Partridge in pear tree

Feathers fly around, chirping.

I contemplate snow.

~

Merry Christmas!

I hope you will enjoy the “12 Days of Christmas” themed haiku published here starting today, on the Day Christianity celebrates the Birth of Jesus. This song is over 230 years old and was first publish without musical accompaniment, as a chant.

What is the pear tree doing in a Christmas song? Cecil Sharp, an English folk song connoisseur, believes that pear tree is just the French perdrix (partridge) lost in translation: “un’ perdrix sole”

Did you know that in the old versions of “12 Days of Christmas” the word on was not present at the beginning of each verse? It was introduced in the 1909 printed version of Austin and it stuck – proof to the power of the printed word.

Did you know that some older versions have juniper tree or June apple tree instead of pear tree?

In older versions my true love is  replaced by my mother and partridge is replaced with very pretty peacock.

“12 Days of Christmas” is a cumulative song, the verse structure modified so that each verse is based on the previous one with minor additions. Other such songs are The Barley Mow:

“Here’s good luck to the pint pot,
Good luck to the barley mow
Jolly good luck to the pint pot,
Good luck to the barley mow.

Here’s good luck to the quart pot,
Good luck to the barley mow
Jolly good luck to the quart pot,
Good luck to the barley mow”

or The Rattlin’ Bog:

“Hi ho, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o,
Hi ho, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

1. Now in the bog there was a tree,
A rare tree, a rattlin’ tree,
The tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

2. And on that tree there was a branch,
A rare branch, a rattlin’ branch,
The branch on the tree, and the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.”

Yiddish folk music contains many wonderful examples of cumulative songs. The French nursery rhyme Alouette is another great example.

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12 Days of Christmas images available freely on 3dinosaurs.com

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

The song verse are quoted for educational purpose only, source wikipedia.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

 

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