#WhitworthAdvent: Carols and Colly Birds

Walter Crane (1845-1915),
Illustration from ‘Black Books’ Series: ‘The early blackbird learns his tune and sings as he’d as lief ‘t were June’, Accession number: WCA. Source: the Whitworth

Do you know what ‘four calling birds’ means in ’12 Days Of Christmas’? It actually refers to songbirds – like Robins or Wrens! In an earlier version of the song, the words were four ‘colly birds’ meaning blackbirds To illustrate this day, here’s a blackbird learning a tune! – Jason

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