Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

The Twelve Days of Christmas, in Singable Picture Books

Posted on: December 27, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas is by far one of the most illustrated songs of them all!  Seems like every illustrator alive wants to have a crack at it.  The more the merrier!  Renditions include,

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Twelve Days of Christmas

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Bill Bolton

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Twelve Days of Christmas
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Jan Brett

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Twelve Days of Christmas

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Robert Broomfield
(“Twelve Days of Christmas,” Illustrated by Robert Broomfield, is featured in the Scholastic Video Collection)

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Hilary Knight

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Twelve Days of Christmas (Nedobeck’s)

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Don Nedobeck

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by John O’Brien

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Twelve Days of Christmas
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Ilse Plume

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Twelve Days of Christmas (a Pop-Up Celebration)
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Robert Sabuda

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Twelve Days of Christmas
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Gennady Spirin
(This book has sheet music in the back and two pages of historical information about the song)

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Twelve Days of Christmas
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Brian Wildsmith

Plus, check almost any anthology of Christmas poems, stories and songs and you’ll find “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in there!

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Spin-offs and Adaptations
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The Eight Nights of Chanukkah

Traditional Words and Tune, Sing to the Tune of “Twelve Days of Christmas
Words Adapted by Leslea Newman
Illustrated by Elivia Savadier

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A Firefly in a Fir Tree, a Carol for Mice

Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Hilary Knight
Illustrated by Hilary Knight
(Sing to the tune of TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS)

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On the First Night of Chanukah
Words by Cecily Kaiser
Illustrated by Brian Schatell
(Sing to the tune of “Twelve Days of Christmas”)

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A Pinata in a Pine Tree (A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas)

Traditional tune (Twelve Days of Christmas)
Words by Pat Mora
Illustrated by Magaly Morales

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The Thirteen Days of Halloween
Traditional Words and Tune (sing to the tune of “The Thirteen Days of Christmas”)
Words Adapted by Carol Greene
Illustrated by Tim Raglin

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The Thirteen Days of Christmas

(Based on Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Traditional Words and Tune (sing to the tune of “The Thirteen Days of Christmas”)
Words Adapted by Steven Davison and Carolyn Gardner
Illustrated by Tim Wollweber and Sherri Lundberg

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The Thirteen Hours of Halloween

Traditional Words and Tune (sing to the tune of “The Thirteen Days of Christmas”)
Words Adapted by Dian Curtis Rega
Illustrated by Dian Curtis Regan

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The 13 Nights of Halloween
Traditional Tune (sing to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas)
Words Adapted by Guy Vasilovich
Illustrated by Guy Vasilovich

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The 12 Bugs of Christmas (A Pop-Up Christmas Counting Book)
Traditional Tune (Sing to the tune of “Twelve Days of Christmas“)
Illustrated by David A. Carter

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The Twelve Days of Christmas: A Pinata for the Pinon Tree
Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Philemon Sturges
Illustrated by Ashley Wolff

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The Twelve Days of Christmas in Florida (Twelve Days of Christmas, State By State)

Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Frank Remkiewicz
Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
(One of these “Twelve Days of…” books has been created for every state and even some cities, including New York City!)

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The Twelve Cats of Christmas
Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Kandy Radzinski

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Twelve Days of Summer

Traditional Tune (“Twelve Days of Christmas”)
Word Adaptations by Jan Andrews
Illustrated by Susan Rennick Jolliffe

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I LOVE this adaptation/arrangement of “Twelve Days of Christmas,” called “A Song and a Christmas Tree” as sung by Andy Williams (and a sleighful of friends):

http://www.amazon.com/Song-Christmas-Tree-Twelve-Days/dp/B00136RIP0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1318103284&sr=1-1

This performance is a testiment to Andy William’s vocal greatness.  I’m not sure he gets enough attention for his talent and skill.  I can’t imagine anyone singing this song better.  His voice is gorgeous, smooth, and elastic.  It’s as if he’s got no limits.  But he doesn’t abuse it (his voice or the song), which also points to his elegance and good taste.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3AJGQnh0wQ

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This parody about the Twelve Days AFTER Christmas is funny, too:
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The Twelve Days AFTER Christmas
Words and Music by Frederick Silver
http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Days-After-Christmas-Sheet/dp/B001OTE75A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1318097862&sr=8-3

YouTube has TONS of videos for this song from choirs and soloists…but this one was my favorite, as sung by the Idlers ast a tavern somewhere:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjeZqzGVkds

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A fun article detailing the mathematics involved in totaling the number of gifts:
http://www.squarecirclez.com/blog/the-twelve-days-of-christmas-how-many-presents/1686
(total gifts = 364)

An article with song history from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twelve_Days_of_Christmas_(song)

Click here to a “key” to the supposed “meaning” for each gift “symbol”:
http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/352/Key_to_the_Twelve_Days_of_Christmas.html

A Singable Picture Book Version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJXqRFwtjKQ

Of course I cannot resist The Muppets (or John Denver),

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpuNU3y1KAk

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Twelve Days of Christmas for an Orchestra (a bell high up in a pear tree)

While listening to my large collection of Christmas music with my i-Pod’s random play option on, it often happens that I’ll hear something for the first time or “new-again,” like the 1981 Boston Pops recording of “Twelve Days of Christmas,” conducted by John Williams.

This rendition included twelve days of different orchestra instruments and I thought what a terrific way to introduce kids to new instruments.  It might take me years to create a book and get a sing-along track put together, but until then, here are the words to help me start the process:

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (FOR THE ORCHESTRA)
Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Boston Pops
Conducted by John Williams 
(Just the 12th day published below) 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Twelve cymbals crashing,
Eleven cellos plucking,
Ten fiddlers fiddling,
Nine oboes cackling,
Eight piccolos a’trilling,
Seven trombones sliding,
Six drummers drumming,
Five golden strings,
Forty flat cornets,
Three french horns,
Two one-ton bassoons,
And a bell high up in a pear tree.

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Hear this version of “Twelve Days,” on Track 7 of the MP3 on,

To purchase or hear a preview, click:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018OJVAW/ref=dm_dp_trk7?ie=UTF8&qid=1325253823&sr=8-1

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Twelve Days of Orchestra Instruments Picture Guide

To view or print this guide, click here:
12 days orchestra instruments

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Related Posts

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CHRISTMAS

A Collection of Singable Picture Books that celebrate CHRISTMAS!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/singable-picture-books-for-christmas/

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COUNTING

Counting (and math) in Singable Picture Books
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/counting-and-math-in-singable-picture-books/

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HALLOWEEN

A list of spooky, fun, funny and evocative songs for our favorite October Holiday
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/halloween-singable-picture-books-ooooooooeeeeeeeee/

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HANUKKAH

A fun list of books to sing and celebrate Hanukkah!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/singable-picture-books-for-hanukkah/

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SUMMER CELEBRATION
Songs for Summer, a List of Summery Singable Picture Books

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/songs-for-summer-a-list-of-summery-singable-picture-books/

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SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS ILLUSTRATED BY HILARY KNIGHT

This list has lots of good stuff also about KAY THOMPSON who wrote the Eloise books which were illustrated by Mr. Knight
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/a-few-favorite-singable-books-part-101-by-hilary-knight/

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TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS FOR AN ORCHESTRA (A BELL HIGH UP IN A PEAR TREE)

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ILLUSTRATED SONGS OF THE MUPPETS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/illustrated-songs-of-the-muppets/

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