On the Ninth Day of Christmas
My true love gave to me, nine ladies dancing …
By the 9th “day” of this memory game/cumulative song the focus changes from the feasting part of the 12 day period, to the celebrating part, with music and dancing. There are, however, some variations on this song that including things such as “ships a sailing” and “bears a baiting”.
On the Tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me, ten lords a leaping …
I have seen it suggested that the lords were playing leap-frog, but surely it simply refers to dancing, as some dances in Elizabethan times, such as the Galliard and La Volta, included jumping?
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