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On the Eleventh Day of Christmas
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas - Eleven Pipers Piping
Dec 21, 2006 (updated 12/27/10)
At the big feasts held during the holiday celebrations the guests were often entertained by musicians, dancers, jugglers, etc. as well as singing and dancing themselves.
Bagpipes and their younger cousins the musette (an instrument similar to a bagpipe but the air for the sound came from bellows rather than blowing into the instrument) were popular instruments for dance music.
While we usually associate the bagpipe with Scotland, they were also a common instrument in France as well.
Since Queen Elizabeth I was succeeded by the Stuart kings of Scotland, bagpipes and other aspects of Scots culture were common among the upper classes in England as were elements of French culture due to intermarriage of the English and French nobility.
The pipers referred to in the song would be the professional bagpipe musicians hired to entertain the guests with their music and provide music for dancing.
During the Tudor and Stuart Periods Christmas was a festive time of year for the upper classes and elaborate parties with feasting, music and dancing were common among these classes.
Links to My Other Hubs on The Twelve Days of Christmas
- The Twelve Days of Christmas
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- On the First Day of Christmas
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- On the Sixth Day of Christmas
Geese were among the first birds to be domesticated. Our Neolithic ancestors discovered that, rather than spending days searching for animals to kill or nests to rob, it was easier to capture them live and...
- On the Seventh Day of Christmas
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- On the Eighth Day of Christmas
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- On the Ninth Day of Christmas
The nine ladies dancing evokes images of music and dancing which were a big part of the celebrations at this period of history in England. The term ladies probably refers to noble ladies as in a Lord and his...
- On the Tenth Day of Christmas
December 21, 2006 The ten lords a-leaping most likely refers to leaping dancers (called morris dancers) who performed leaping dances between courses at feasts. This type of wild and strenuous dancing...
- On the Twelfth Day of Christmas
With the twelfth day we have reached the end of the song and have arrived at the last day of Christmas known as Twelfth Night on which the partying and feasting continued. Twelfth Night is the night before...
Geographic Influences on The Twelve Days of Christmas Carol
England where the carol The Twelve Days of Christmas originated.
Scotland, the home of King James VI of Scotland who also became King James I of England & Ireland upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I.
Despite their many wars throughout history, England and France shared many ties as evidenced by French influences on the 12 Days of Christmas carol.
© 2006 Chuck Nugent