"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.


Miranda Anderson wrote, "You requested anyone to message you if this song was still sang, and I came across your page because I'd forgotten the lyrics past the 9th day and wanted to reference them now that I have a child of my own. My family is Welsh and Irish but live in the US and this song is sang by the older generation amongst my relatives. Thank you for posting it for others to reference!"

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This song can be found in "Popular Rhymes Of Scotland" (1847) by Robert Chambers. Thanks to Miranda Anderson for sharing how her family still sings it!

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