14 December 2015

Move over partridge. It’s the brush turkey’s time to shine. UQ is counting down to Christmas with its very own 12 Days of Christmas carol.

Renowned UQ historian and classical scholar Professor Alastair Blanshard (@AlastairBlan) said the UQ version, available in audio here, reflected aspects of life at UQ’s campuses.

"Few carols capture the spirit of the festive season like the 12 Days of Christmas,” he said.

“Each day brings new surprises. As the excitement builds, it is a carol that leaves you asking 'What next?' or 'How could you top that?'

'It is also a very inclusive carol. It embraces the whole community.

“It doesn't let you forget that while the 10 Lords may be 'a-leaping' and the nine ladies dancing that someone still has to do the farm work.

“I always feel slightly sorry for the eight maids 'a-milking'. Everybody else seems to be having such a good time.'

Professor Blanshard said he liked the celebratory aspect of the carol.

“For a song about gifts, it's surprisingly unmaterialistic.

“The 'gold rings' aren't the climax of the carol, they only occur midway through the piece.

“The real joy is to be found in the final party with its pipers piping and drummers drumming.

“It is a nice reminder that this season shouldn't be about the presents that we receive, but the time that we spend in the company of family and friends.

“That said, I certainly won't be complaining if five gold rings find their way into my stocking.”

@UQ_News will tweet a new instalment of the 12 days of UQ Christmas at 1pm daily from 14 December until Christmas Day.

Professor Blanshard said the 12 days of Christmas traditionally ran from 25 December to 5 January, in a period that was celebrated with feasting, games, and gift-giving.

“Shakespeare wrote his comedy Twelfth Night to celebrate and capture the riotous fun of the season. “

The timing of UQ’s countdown has been adjusted to suit campus life.

Media: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, 3346 7890.