Why 12 days?
For those that have never heard it, the posts will be based on the popular English Carol – the 12 Days of Christmas. The song depicts 12 days in which ‘gifts’ are received from the recipients ‘true love’. Each verse builds on the previous one as the gifts increase. If you want examples of how the song should be sung (and no doubt more dubious versions) you can find over 110,000 on YouTube.
The history of the folk song is uncertain and the first textual ‘version’ of the song seems to have been published in 1780 children’s book in the form of a game (according to the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, OUP 1987, pg 119 ). However it is believed to be older than this. Although it is seen as an English Carol it is thought to be French in origin which could go some way in explaining some of the odd combinations, which is not a comment on France but on the translation!
Given its uncertain history there are many different versions about and so don’t be disappointed if we use different gifts to the ones you know. Following the recent debate over badgers we were tempted to use the 1867 Cliftonian version which had 11 Badgers Baiting but you will be pleased to know we thought it best not to!
A Partridge in a Pear Tree, 2 Turtle Doves, 3 French Hens, 4 Calling Birds, 5 Gold Rings, 6 Geese a Laying, 7 Swans a Swimming, 8 Maids a Milking, 9 Ladies Dancing, 10 Drummers Drumming, 11 Pipers Piping, 12 Lord a Leaping.
For each day we will tie in a legal aspect for the ‘gift’ and highlight related resources. So what do Geese a Laying have to do with law? Well we will admit in advance that some of the connections are quite tenuous but do comment with your own examples and put us to shame!
Of course not everybody celebrates Christmas but we hope you will join us for a fun way of looking at some of the legal resources at your fingertips.