Keeping things current?

This comic ended in 2012, and is in reruns. But apparently someone is working to update the comics, and keep the date “right.”

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’m impressed that they’re keeping things in sync enough that a post-New Years comic is running a little after January 1st, and that someone is actually reading the comic and noticing that the year needs updating. On the other hand, I find it a little jarring to see the date changed on old comics to makes storylines “recent,” when I remember them occurring a decade ago. And on the gripping hand, I find it immensely jarring to see these characters discussing how “a lot happened in 2020,” and not including the most prominent and obvious thing that happened in 2020.

What do you think?

(And as a side note: Does listing all the things that happened during the year seem like a strange response to “Where did [the year] go?”)

The Twelve Days – Postscript 3 – icon layouts for all 12

Single image layouts of 12 days

It turns out the twelve days gifts from the song has been a popular motif with artists, decorators, cartoonists, and editorialists to design a layout presenting all twelve days or gifts in a single graphics image (or needlepoint, wallpaper, etc). A couple of these we have been using for “featured image” in posts. But here is a small collection, some very traditional and some sardonic, to stand in for the wide realm of possibility.

The Twelve Days – Postscript 2 – series from familiar comics

As noted by commenters during the course of the Twelve Days postings, and in the Addenda section of that post itself, sometimes a familiar comics source will touch on the Twelve Days song lyrics, illustrating and hopefully finding a joke in the lists of gifts. Sometimes this has even taken the form of a series of daily appearances for a half-dozen or even a full dozen strips.

Mother Goose and Grimm

“MGG” had the start of a run in 2011, concluding at Five with a kind of recap/roundup:


And a bonus Sea Shanties comic:

Then in 2012 they did a full run of twelve!


And a bonus Sea Shanties comic:

This didn’t mean they were burnt out on the Twelve Days Song material altogether, but later appearances were not as extensive. Here is a singleton from 2016 touching on first and third day:

Spacer with multicolor segments

Off the Mark

The OTM series or singles referencing the Twelve Days song seem to encompass an almost-full series carried out over two years. The second year had a postscript of an attempt to return many of the canonical gifts at a department store returns window. Then there was a singleton on the twelve drummers, and some later repeats in color.

Here is the kickoff, in 2002:

Then in 2003 they pick up the story with the infamous “apricot sauce” panel for Seventh Day:

Yes, we used those plumbers in our own run-thru!
Here, from 2004, was an OTM singleton but with content based in the Twelve Days gifts:

And the 2002 series included a detached postscript of an attempt at the returns window.

Spacer with multicolor segments

Argyle Sweater

We couldn’t locate an extensive series from the Twelve Days song for the “Argyle Sweater” strip, but they did have some separate panels that relate to it. Both these examples are from this year. We used the “ten lords a-leaking” (sent in by Andréa) in the course of the run of our Twelve Days thread. And after that, a nice example of a single-panel comic taking on multiple gifts from the song; here instead of a department store returns window, it’s a food ordering window.

Spacer with multicolor segments

New Adventures of Queen Victoria

This series, from 2006, proceeds normally (so to speak) thru five, then jumps ahead to twelve to get it over with! (Oh, and do we need a geezer clue for “Prince Albert in a can”?)

The Twelve Days – Postscript 1 – gifts lyrics historical variations

During the course of the Twelve Days postings, several astute commenters remarked on other phrasings used for some of the gifts in versions of the song, as well as some gifts entirely replaced rather than just worded differently. Here is a historical summary of some of those variations, in the form of a table.

This is a large HTML table (long and wide). So it may not display well. I hope on the platforms where this would help that it gets embedded in a scrollable insert box, perhaps. If you have trouble with it here, please just go to the Wikipedia original where you may have more luck, as well as finding more extensive notes than have been quoted here.

From the Wikipedia article on the Twelve Days song.

For ease of comparison with Austin's 1909 version given above:
(a) differences in wording, ignoring capitalisation and punctuation, are indicated in italics (including permutations, where for example the 10th day of Austin's version becomes the 9th day here);
(b) items that do not appear at all in Austin's version are indicated in bold italics.
Source Giver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Mirth without
Mischief, 1780[5]
My true love sent to me Partridge in a pear-tree Turtle doves French hens Colly birds Gold rings Geese a laying Swans a swimming Maids a milking Drummers drumming Pipers piping Ladies dancing Lords a leaping
Angus, 1774–1825[10] My true love sent to me Partridge in a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Colly birds Gold rings Geese a laying Swans a swimming Maids a milking Drummers drumming Pipers piping Ladies dancing Lords a leaping
Halliwell, 1842[11] My mother sent to me Partridge in a pear-tree Turtle doves French hens Canary birds Gold rings Geese a laying Swans a swimming Ladies dancing Lords a leaping Ships a sailing Ladies spinning Bells ringing
Rimbault, c. 1846[12] My mother sent to me Parteridge in a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Canary birds Gold rings Geese a laying Swans a swimming Ladies dancing Lords a leaping Ships a sailing Ladies spinning Bells ringing
Halliwell, 1853[13] My true love sent to me Partridge in a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Colly birds Gold rings Geese a laying Swans a swimming Maids a milking Drummers drumming Pipers piping Ladies dancing Lords a leaping
Salmon, 1855[14] My true love sent to me Partridge upon a pear-tree Turtle-doves French hens Collie birds Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Maids a-milking Drummers drumming Pipers piping Ladies dancing Lords a-leaping


Caledonian, 1858[15] My true love sent to me Partridge upon a pear-tree Turtle-doves French hens Collie birds Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Maids a-milking Drummers drumming Fifers fifing Ladies dancing Lords a-leaping


Husk, 1864[16] My true love sent to me Partridge in a pear-tree Turtle doves French hens Colley birds Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Maids a-milking Drummers drumming Pipers piping Ladies dancing Lords a-leaping


Hughes, 1864[17] My true love sent to me Partridge and a pear tree Turtle-doves Fat hens Ducks quacking Hares running “and so on”
Cliftonian, 1867[18] My true-love sent to me Partridge in a pear-tree Turtle-doves French hens Colley birds Gold rings Ducks a-laying Swans swimming Hares a-running Ladies dancing Lords a-leaping Badgers baiting Bells a-ringing
Clark, 1875[19] My true love sent to me Partridge in a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Colour’d birds Gold rings Geese laying Swans swimming Maids milking Drummers drumming Pipers piping Ladies dancing Lords leaping
Kittredge, 1877 (1917)[20] My true love sent to me Some part of a juniper tree/And some part of a juniper tree French hens Turtle doves Colly birds Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming [forgotten by the singer] Lambs a-bleating Ladies dancing Lords a-leading Bells a-ringing
Henderson, 1879[21] My true love sent to me Partridge upon a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Curley birds Gold rings Geese laying Swans swimming Maids milking Drummers drumming Pipers piping
Barnes, 1882[22] My true love sent to me The sprig of a juniper tree Turtle doves French hens Coloured birds Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Hares a-running Bulls a-roaring Men a-mowing Dancers a-dancing Fiddlers a-fiddling
Stokoe, 1888[23] My true love sent to me Partridge on a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Colly birds Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Maids a-milking Drummers drumming Pipers piping Ladies dancing Lords a leaping
Kidson, 1891[24] My true love sent to me Merry partridge on a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Colley birds Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Maids a-milking Drummers drumming Pipers piping Ladies dancing Lords a leaping
Scott, 1892[25] My true love brought to me Very pretty peacock upon a pear tree Turtle-doves French hens Corley birds Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Maids a-milking Pipers playing Drummers drumming Lads a-louping Ladies dancing
Cole, 1900[26] My true love sent to me Parteridge upon a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Colly birds Gold rings Geese a laying Squabs a swimming Hounds a running Bears a beating Cocks a crowing Lords a leaping Ladies a dancing
Sharp, 1905[27] My true love sent to me Goldie ring, and the part of a June apple tree Turtle doves, and the part of a mistletoe bough French hens Colley birds Goldie rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Boys a-singing Ladies dancing Asses racing Bulls a-beating Bells a-ringing
Leicester Daily Post, 1907[28] My true love sent to me A partridge upon a pear-tree Turtle doves French hens Collie dogs Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Maids a milking Drummers drumming Pipers playing Ladies dancing Lords a-leaping
Austin, 1909[4] My true love sent to me Partridge in a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Calling birds Gold rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Maids a-milking Ladies dancing Lords a-leaping Pipers piping Drummers drumming
Swortzell, 1966[6] My true love gave to me Partridge in a pear tree Turtle doves French hens Collie birds Golden rings Geese a-laying Swans a-swimming Maids a-milking Pipers piping Drummers drumming Lords a-leaping Ladies dancing