The song 12 Days Of Christmas is a favorite of children around the world. It's not just a song but a game. Children try to repeat each new verse with the previous verses in tow. The child who errs is subjected to the screeching laughter of her peers, which she then joins. I want to point out two common mistakes in the lyrics. The first is the mondegren, four calling birds. The lyric is four colley birds. Colley means black, so they are four blackbirds.
The second mistake is with the first and last line, A Partridge in a Pear Tree. The French word for partridge is perdrix, which is pronounced "pear dree". It is easy to see where a Frenchman said perdrix, and an Englishman wrote down pear tree. So, now, knowing this, many would have you believe the original lyric should have been "A Partridge, Une Perdrix". Huh? And, would not the Englishman ask, "What the heck does a Pear Tree have to do with Christmas?" That's a good question, and here is a good answer. Maybe we got the line backwards. Aller de pair direz "Une perdrix". That means, "together we say one partridge". So this is the Frenchman giving the line and the direction that we sing the last line together each verse.
Whatcha think? Am I on to something, here?