My “12 days of Christmas Sale” is running in my ETSY SHOP
For more details, please see my post on julzcrafts.com
I have also been writing a series of posts, on julzcrafts.com, linked to the Christmas Carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, and following parts of a post that I found online, originally published in Backyard Poultry Magazine (2013).
I should have written it on this blog, as its about the birds & poultry featured in the Carol. So I’m belatedly, copying today’s post here, and if you are interested, you can check out the rest of the posts, and the one’s planned to continue until the end of the 12 Days period between Christmas Day and Epiphany (6 January).
Exploring the 12 Days of Christmas History and Life in the 18th Century
Five Gold Rings
Illustration of “five gold rings”, from the first known publication of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (1780)
I’m deviating from the original article I have been basing this series on for the 5th Day of Christmas, as its difficult enough to relate Gold Rings to birds, although this “may have referred to Ring-Necked Pheasants, or perhaps to Golden Pheasants. Those original meanings unify the verses around a bird motif.
Both of them are natives of Asia but have long had successful populations in Europe and the British Isles. The Romans probably introduced them to Europe during their Empire. Pheasant were accepted residents of Britain by the 10th century.”
I’m not convinced this is the best interpretation! After all, the whole song is not just about birds, but it’s fun to try and link them anyway – and FIVE gold rings do seem to be a bit excessive, even if it was for a ‘true love’!
The Radio 4 “Tweet of the Day” has chosen another bird, and you can hear it here;
a British Goldfinch in flight showing the yellow ‘flash’ on wing feathers – some American Goldfinch have bright yellow bodies!
“As actress Alison Steadman outlines the refrain Five Gold Rings in the song is a recent thing, having emerged as an Edwardian addition to the song when Frederic Austen composed the music we know and love today. Yet in the century before that, a small colourful bird captivated Victorian society like no other. The goldfinch.”
PS: In the past, some international readers have had problems listening to BBC iPlayer links – especially in the USA. If you manage to get to the page without any problems, you may be able to download the file – its only 2 minutes long – and listen to it on iTunes.
Please do let me know if you have any difficulties, or even if you can access it – as its good to know. You may have to register with the BBC site – this is a consequence of the new rules and regulations on paying for tv licences if you watch programmes online. A pity really, because the BBC always prided itself that it was available worldwide!