"The 13 Days of Yule" was sung in Scotland as far back as the early 1800's, to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Yule was originally a heathen feast that lasted for 12-13 days. Eventually it came to represent the midwinter season of December and January. Later it became synonymous with Christmas.

The Thirteen Days of Yule - Scottish Children's Songs - Scotland - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


(1) Papingoe = a parrot (though some people think it's a peacock).
(2) A plover is a type of bird.
(3) A goldspink is the European goldfinch.


There's hardly any mention of this song on the internet. It seems it's not sung much anymore. Please email me to let us know if people still sing this song in Scotland.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This song can be found in "Popular Rhymes Of Scotland" (1847) by Robert Chambers.

The illustration can be found in The Sleeping Beauty Picture Book, illustrated by Walter Crane.