Los doce días de Navidad

The 12 Days of Christmas

partridge in a pear tree
Una perdiz en una peral. (A partridge in a pear tree.). DHanford/Getty Images

Here are Spanish lyrics for The 12 Days of Christmas, a carol that has been sung in the English-speaking world since at least the 16th century.

Los 12 días de Navidad

El primer día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El segundo día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El tercer día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El cuarto día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
cuatro pajaritos, tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El quinto día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
cinco anillos dorados, cuatro pajaritos, tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El sexto día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
seis mamá gansas, cinco anillos dorados, cuatro pajaritos, tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El séptimo día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
siete cisnitos, seis mamá gansas, cinco anillos dorados, cuatro pajaritos, tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El octavo día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
ocho lecheritas, siete cisnitos, seis mamá gansas, cinco anillos dorados, cuatro pajaritos, tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El noveno día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
nueve bailarinas, ocho lecheritas, siete cisnitos, seis mamá gansas, cinco anillos dorados, cuatro pajaritos, tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El décimo día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
diez señores saltando, nueve bailarinas, ocho lecheritas, siete cisnitos, seis mamá gansas, cinco anillos dorados, cuatro pajaritos, tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El undécimo día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
once gaiteritos, diez señores saltando, nueve bailarinas, ocho lecheritas, siete cisnitos, seis mamá gansas, cinco anillos dorados, cuatro pajaritos, tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

El duodécimo día de Navidad, mi amor me mandó
doce tamborileros, once gaiteritos, diez señores saltando, nueve bailarinas, ocho lecheritas, siete cisnitos, seis mamá gansas, cinco anillos dorados, cuatro pajaritos, tres gallinitas, dos tortolitas y una perdiz picando peras del peral.

Grammar and Vocabulary Notes

Primer, segundo, tercer, etc.: These are the words for first, second, third, etc. Primer is a shortened form of primero, and tercer is a shortened form of tercero. They are shortened in this manner when appearing before a singular masculine noun. The forms used here for 11th and 12th are not very common in spoken in Spanish.

Día: Día, meaning "day," is an exception to the rule that nouns ending in -a are masculine.

Navidad: This word can refer not only to Christmas Day but also to the season in general.

Amor: This is the word for "love." It can refer not only to the emotion, but also to a person such as a sweetheart. It is related to the verb amar.

Mandó: Mandó is a past-tense form of mandar, which most often means "to mandate" or "to order," but in this case means "to send."

Perdiz: A partridge.

Picando: This is present participle of picar, which can mean "to bite" or "to peck at." So a literal translation of this line would be "a partridge pecking at pears of the pear tree."

Pera, peral: Pear, pear tree. The suffix -al often refers to a tree or grove of trees. For example, an orange is a naranja, while an orange grove is a naranjal.

Tortolita: A name for numerous types of doves and related birds.

Gallinita: A diminutive form of gallina, meaning "hen."

Pajarito: A diminutive form of pájaro, meaning "bird." This could be translated as "birdie."

Anillo: A ring.

Dorado: Golden. The word comes from ​dorar. a verb that means to coat something with gold or to turn something brown.

Mamá gansas: About the only place you'll find this phrase in Spanish is in this song — it means "mother geese," but you normally wouldn't say it this way (one way would be gansas madre). Mamá Gansa and Mamá Ganso, however, are common ways of translating "Mother Goose."

Cisnito: A diminutive form of cisno, swan.

Lecherita: A lechera is a female who works with milk, usually someone who sells milk, but in context it could be one who milks cows. Lecherita is a diminutive form.

Bailarina: A female dancer, frequently referring to a ballet dancer.

Señor: Although this word is often used nowadays as a courtesy title translated as "Mr.," it can also refer to a lord.

Saltando: The present participle of saltar, to jump.

Gaiterito: A diminutive form of gaitero, a piper.

Tamborilero: A drummer.