Dear Nola

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I first heard this years and years ago, and a year later (probably the year I got my tape recorder - as I had it at my Nana's when I heard it again) I managed to get it on tape. Either from that tape recording or possibly some other source on the web, we have the mp3 version. I always thought it was Govnet not Bognot, but other sources disagree. This song gets dragged out every year, it's somewhat of a tradition in our family :)

Dear Nola - aka, what would happen if some actually gave the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas ...

Day 1
Dear Nola,
Thank you very much for your lovely present of a partridge in a pear tree. We are getting the hang of feeding the partridge now, although it was difficult at first to win its confidence. It bit the Mother rather badly on the hand, but they're good friends now, and we're keeping the pear tree indoors in a bucket. Thank you again.
Yours affectionately,
Bognot O'Launacy.

Day 2
Dear Nola,
I cannot tell you how surprised we were to hear from you again so soon again, and to receive your lovely present of two turtle doves. You really are too kind. At first, the partridge was very jealous and suspicious of the doves, and they had a terrible row on the night the doves arrived. We had to send for the vet. But the birds are OK again, and the stitches are due to come out in a week or two. The vet�s bill was �8, but the Mother is over her annoyance now, and the doves and the partridge are watching the telly from the pear tree as I write.
Yours ever,

Day 3
Dear Nola,
We must be foremost in your thoughts. I had only posted my letter when the three French hens arrived. There was another sort out between the hens and the doves, who have sided with the partridge, and the vet had to be sent for again. The Mother was raging, for the bill was �16 this time, but she has almost cooled down. However, the fact that the birds droppings keep falling down on our hair while she's watching the telly doesn�t help matters.
Thanking you for your kindness, I remain,
Your Bognot

Day 4
Dear Nola,
You mustn�t have received my last letter when you were sending us the four calling birds. There was pandemonium in the pear tree again last night, and the vet�s bill was �32. The Mother is on sedation as I write. I know you meant no harm, and remain your close friend.

Day 5
Your generosity knows no bounds. Five gold rings! When the parcel arrived, I was scared stiff that it might be more birds, because the smell in the living room is atrocious. However, I don�t want to seem ungrateful for the beautiful rings.
Your affectionate friend,

Day 6
What are you trying to do to us? It isn�t that we don�t appreciate your generosity, but the six geese have not alone nearly murdered the calling birds, but they laid their eggs on top of the vet�s head from the pear tree, and his bill was �68 in cash! My Mother is munching 60 grains of valium a day and talking to herself in a most alarming way. You must keep your feelings for me in check.

Day 7
We are not amused by your little joke. Seven swans a-swimming is a most romantic idea, but not in the bath of a private house. We cannot use the bathroom now because they have gone completely savage, and rush the door every time we try to enter. If things go on this way, the Mother and I will smell as bad as the living room carpet. Please lay off! It is not fair.

Day 8
Who the hell do you think gave you the right to send eight hefty maids a-milking here to eat us out of house and home? Their cattle are all over the front lawn, and have trampled the hell out of the Mother�s rose beds. The swans invaded the living room in a sneak attack, and the ensuing battle between them and the calling birds, turtle doves, French hens and partridge made the Battle of the Somme seem like Wonderly Wagon. The Mother is on a bottle of whiskey a day, as well as the sixty grains of valium. I�m very annoyed with you.

Day 9
Listen you loser! There�s enough pandemonium in the place night and day, without nine drummers drumming, while the eight flamin' maids a-milking are eating my poor alcoholic mother out of her own kitchen and gobbling everything in sight. I�m warning you, you�re making an enemy of me.

Day 10
Listen manure face! I hope you�ll be haunted by the strains of the ten pipers piping, which were sent to torment us last night. They were aided in the evil work by those maniac drummers, and it wasn�t a pleasant sight to look out the window and see eight hefty maids a-milking, all going round to the punk-rock uproar. My Mother has just finished her third bottle of whiskey on top of 124 grains of valium. You�ll get yours!
Bognot O�Launacy

Day 11
You have scandalised my mother, you dirty Jezebel. It was bad enough to have eight maids a-milking dancing to punk music on the front lawn, but they�ve now been joined by your friends, the eleven lords a-leaping, and the antics of the whole lot of them would leave the most decadent days of the Roman Empire looking like Outlook! I�ll get you yet, you old bag!

Day 12
Listen slurry-head! You have ruined our lives! The twelve maidens dancing turned up last night, and beat the living daylights out of the eight maids a-milking, �cos they found them carrying on with the eleven lords a-leaping. Meanwhile, the swans got out of the living room where they�ve been hiding since the big battle and savaged the hell out of the lords and all the maids. There were eight ambulances here last night, and the local civil defence as well. The Mother is in a home for the bewildered, and I�m sitting here up to my neck in birds' droppings, empty whiskey and valium bottles, birds' blood and feathers, while the cows eat the leaves from the pear tree. I�m a broken man!
Bognot O�Launacy.


CC said:

LOL That was an absolute crackup!!! =)

Meanwhile, I learnt something yesterday when this was forwarded to me:
The Story Behind The 12 Days Of Christmas

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world
do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge
who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas? From 1558
until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their
faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song
for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus
a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.

Each element! in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the
children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the
Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit-
Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and

The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit- Love, Joy,

Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self

The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the
Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today.

This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and
enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas pass it on if you wish."

May God grant you peace and happiness

Sorry that was so long!

December 18, 2006 7:09 PM


kazza said:

Cool :)

I just found another variation on it, found here -

Dec 25

My dearest darling Edward,

What a wonderful surprise has just greeted me! That sweet partridge, in that lovely little pear-tree; what an enchanting, romantic, poetic present!

Bless you, and thank you.

Your deeply loving


Dec. 26

Beloved Edward,

The two turtle-doves arrived this morning, and are cooing away in the pear-tree as I write. I'm so touched and grateful!

With undying love, as always,


Dec. 27

My darling Edward,

You do think of the most original presents! Who ever thought of sending anybody three French hens? Do they really come all the way from France? It's a pity we have no chicken coops, but I expect we'll find some.

Anyway, thank you so much; they are lovely.

Your devoted Emily.

Dec. 28

Dearest Edward,

What a surprise! Four calling birds arrived this morning. They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly, they make telephoning almost impossible - but I expect they'll calm down when they get used to their new home. Anyway, I'm very grateful, of course I am.

Love from Emily.

Dec. 29

Dearest Edward,

The postman has just delivered five most beautiful gold rings, one for each finger, and all fitting perfectly! A really lovely present! Lovelier, in a way, than birds, which do take rather a lot of looking after. The four that arrived yesterday are still making a terrible row, and I'm afraid none of us got much sleep last night. Mother says she wants to use the rings to "wring" their necks. Mother has such a sense of humour. This time she's only joking, I think, but I do know what she means.

Still, I love the rings.

Bless you,


Dec. 30

Dear Edward,

Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door this morning, it certainly wasn't six socking great geese laying eggs all over the porch. Frankly, I rather hoped that you had stopped sending me birds. We have no room for them, and they've already ruined the croquet lawn. I know you meant well, but let's call a halt, shall we?



Dec. 31


I thought I said NO MORE BIRDS. This morning I woke up to find no more than seven swans, all trying to get into our tiny goldfish pond. I'd rather not think what's happened to the goldfish. The whole house seems to be full of birds, to say nothing of what they leave behind them, so please, please, stop!

Your Emily.

Jan. 1


Frankly, I prefer the birds. What am I to do with eight milkmaids? And their cows! Is this some kind of a joke? If so, I'm afraid I don't find it very amusing.


Jan. 2

Look here, Edward,

This has gone far enough. You say you're sending me nine ladies dancing. All I can say is, judging from the way they dance, they're certainly not ladies. The village just isn't accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless viragos, with nothing on but their lipstick, cavorting round the green, and it's Mother and I who get the blame. If you value our friendship, which I do (less and less), kindly stop this ridiculous behaviour at once!


Jan. 3

As I write this letter, ten disgusting old men are prancing up and down all over what used to be the garden, before the geese and the swans and the cows got at it. And several of them, I have just noticed, are taking inexcusable liberties with the milkmaids. Meanwhile the neighbours are trying to have us evicted. I shall never speak to you again.


Jan. 4

This is the last straw! You know I detest bagpipes! The place has now become something between a menagerie and a madhouse, and a man from the council has just declared it unfit for habitation. At least Mother has been spared this last outrage; they took her away yesterday afternoon in an ambulance to a home for the bewildered. I hope you're satisfied.

Jan. 5


Our client, Miss Emily Wilbraham, instructs me to inform you that with the arrival on her premises at 7:30 this morning of the entire percussion section of the London Symphony Orchestra, and several of their friends, she has no course left open to her but to seek an injunction to prevent you importuning her further. I am making arrangements for the return of much assorted livestock.

I am, Sir, yours faithfully,

G. Creep



And this page - has it spelt "Dear Nuala", with "Gobnait O'Lunacy"

December 18, 2006 8:06 PM


Dan said:

Hi there, please send me a copy of the bad side of the 12 days of christmas on mp3. I will take either version. any idea who sings either version? I have a lot of mp3 files so if you want to trade or sell it to me, we can work something out.

December 21, 2006 3:21 PM


Vatiereedes said:

hello! somebody maybe use google?


May 3, 2011 2:07 AM


Sally said:

"Dear Nuala", with "Gobnait O'Lunacy"

That's the Frank Kelly version that most people know!

November 16, 2013 11:42 AM


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IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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