Its 'colly' not 'calling' birds - a colly bird is a black bird
Also, I've always heard 12 lords, 11 ladies, 10 pipers, 9 drummers
I'm not from an English-speaking country, though. This song was one of my first English lessons as an eight-year-old. It was in a collection of English-language nursery rhymes published with an audio cassette. Looking into it now, most of the material in there sounds pretty archaic. The editors even used "thou" and "thee" in some texts.
That may be the solution. For some reason, we know an old version of the song.
And as for the dancing ladies, he obviously got them for himself.
And no, I was not singing out loud.
A total of 364 presents, one for every day of the year except for Christmas Day.
12 each partridges and drummers
22 each turtle doves and pipers
30 each French hens and lords
36 each colly birds and ladies
40 each gold rings and maids
42 each geese and swans
Where would the recipient even keep them all?
Finished this one though love them all :)
Also not working: a beer (in a tree), two turtlenecks, three french toasts, four pounds of backbacon, five golden touques, six packs of two-four, seven packs of smokes, eight comic books... ;)
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