The Twelve Days of Christmas
for choir SATB (2006)
duration: 4’
GRT • 124


score available from
Australian Music Centre

program note
The Twelve Days of Christmas is a new setting of the traditional Christmas carol with the addition of some modern ‘pop’ commentary. It was written at the invitation of Hildy Essex, conductor and director of Australian Contemporary Chorale, for their performances at Melbourne's Federation Square in December, 2006. Twelve composers associated with the University of Melbourne were each invited to set one of the 'Days' with some regard to the performance environment – outside at the Square. The other composers included in this project were Katy Abbott, Brenton Broadstock, Hildy Essex, Raelene Howell, Tom Jones, Linda Kouvaras, Vaughan McAlley, Mark Pollard, Kevin Purcell, Stephen Scholte and Johanna Selleck.

It is suggested that any choir singing this piece should ideally be aware of the pop songs that are embedded within the texture, in order to perform them idiomatically and authentically. The songs are:

Bay City Rollers:
Rock,n,Roll Love Letter

U2:
Beautiful Day

Abba:
Dancing Queen

Sting:
Soul Cages

The Beatles:
And Your Bird Can Sing

Tears for Fears:
Sowing the Seeds of Love

text
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me On the Twelfth day
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me On the Twelfth day
this is my rock’n-roll love letter
Twelve drummers drumming, Eleven pipers piping, my true love sent to me
in an arc of love
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
bringing you back home to me
On the twelfth day
it’s a beautiful day
Ten lords a-leaping, Nine ladies dancing,
you are the dancing queen
Eight maids a-milking,
young and sweet only seventeen
my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
these are the soul cages
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me On the Twelfth day
this is my rock’n-roll love letter
Four calling birds,
and your bird can sing, but you can’t have me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.
sowing the seeds of love