Select the image below for a free printable PDF of The Twelve Days of Christmas sheet music. Since the song includes so many repeated sections, repeat signs are used in this sheet music for the days and gifts of six through twelve. Without repeat signs, the song would be several pages long. Rehearsal numbers are included for easy reference to each day, and measure numbers are written above the left side of each staff. You can also countdown the days until Christmas with Fluffy and Ivy.
The Twelve Days of Christmas is a very popular carol that is fun to sing, especially with large groups of people. With each day of Christmas, the writer’s “true love” gives a present or group of presents. The total number of gifts over the course of the twelve days amounts to 364! For an interesting and amusing page on the cost of the gifts, see PNC Bank’s Christmas Price Index.
The lyrics to The Twelve Days of Christmas were first published in 1780, but the music was not included. Here is an image of an early version of the text to The Twelve Days of Christmas. Over the years, the lyrics of the carol have gone through many transformations, especially with the gift of the “calling birds,” which has been referred to as colly birds, collie birds, canary birds, and other variations. The Wikipedia page on the song includes many of the different versions of the text. The version of the song that is sung most frequently today (and is included here) was arranged in 1909 by the English composer and singer, Frederic Austin (1872-1952). One particularly fun recording of the song was released by Jim Henson’s Muppets and John Denver in 1979, for the album A Christmas Together.