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    • Join Date: Nov 2005
    • Posts: 9
    #1

    and a partridge in a pear tree...

    Dear teacher,
    I wonder what the last sentence means in this context:

    at his death in 1547, king herny of england left a collection of 76 recorders, 72 flutes, 25 shawms, 25 crumhorns, 11 fifes, 23 virginals, 15 regals, two clavichords, 12 violins, five guitars, tow cornets, 26 lutes and five bagpipes. And a partridge in a pear tree.

    Thanks,
    Payam

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    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 1,948
    #2

    Re: and a partridge in a pear tree...

    Quote Originally Posted by Payam View Post
    Dear teacher,
    I wonder what the last sentence means in this context:
    at his death in 1547, king herny of england left a collection of 76 recorders, 72 flutes, 25 shawms, 25 crumhorns, 11 fifes, 23 virginals, 15 regals, two clavichords, 12 violins, five guitars, tow cornets, 26 lutes and five bagpipes. And a partridge in a pear tree.
    Thanks,
    Payam

    Hi, Payam

    Here is a very good answer to your question:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=207032


    Regards,

  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #3

    Re: and a partridge in a pear tree...

    It's a humorous reference to a popular song sung at Christmas.

    The first verse is very short:

    On the first day of Christmas,
    My true love sent to me:
    A partridge in a pear tree.


    The second verse is a little longer:

    On the second day of Christmas,
    My true love sent to me:
    Two turtle-doves
    And a partridge in a pear tree.


    For each of the 12 days of Christmas, the verses get longer until the last verse, which goes like this:

    On the twelfth day of Christmas,
    My true love sent to me:
    Twelve drummers drumming,
    Eleven pipers piping,
    Ten lords a-leaping,
    Nine ladies dancing,
    Eight maids a-milking,
    Seven swans a-swimming,
    Six geese a-laying,
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle-doves
    And a partridge in a pear tree.


    Each verse basically consists of an increasingly long list of items ending with "And a partridge in a pear tree". In the article you cite, there is a similar list of items, and the author adds the "partridge in a pear tree" as a humorous remark.

    Incidentally, the song is so old, nobody knows exactly what meaning lies behind each of the objects mentioned. There are many theories, but for most people it's just a very old folk song.


    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 671
    #4

    Re: and a partridge in a pear tree...

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Hi, Payam
    Here is a very good answer to your question:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=207032
    Regards,
    It is worth pointing out that the author is making an ironic reference to the carol, because he has given a long enumerated list of Henry VIII's belongings. The last verse of the well-known carol is also a long enumerated list, so he suffixes the final line "...and a partridge in a pear true" as a joke.


    • Join Date: Nov 2005
    • Posts: 9
    #5

    Re: and a partridge in a pear tree...

    thanks a lot. your comments solved the issue. I had a vague impression of such a meaning but your proofs well defended the case.

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