I don’t think I’ve ever seen a version of the Twelve Days of Christmas quite like this. George Buchanan takes the central premise and plays it out to its full comic potential.
Set against the backdrop of a snowbound house straight out of the Good Life, we meet a young couple.Boy attempts to explain the romantic significance of the unseasonal fruit and bird bearing tree while the girl scratches her head.
By day four the tree, with its roots still wrapped in a sack, the pear tree is pulled inside the kitchen, the partridge joining the French hens and turtle doves as the family gamely attempt to eat their Frosties.
The gold rings, which I had always assumed were for use on fingers, arrive as large hoops. The purpose of this isn’t quite clear. So the girl takes them into the bath. Perhaps they’re for making bubbles?
Day seven and things are getting properly out of hand – the combination of geese a-laying and swans a-swimming is one that is best handled with the bristly end of a broom.
On day nine we see the consequences of mixing cows and a full marching band.
On the twelfth day of Christmas the boy returns to the house along with twelve lords a leaping. This final aristocratic flourish doesn’t impress the clearly down to earth in laws much. Thought they do appear to have turned his largesse to their advantage, selling free range eggs and bags of manure.