The Ten Days of Christmas

One of our regular readers, John Frewen-Lord, offers this contribution to the festive fare:

“As we live in a predominantly metric world, world leaders have decided that the traditional Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is inappropriate in today’s modern base-10 metric world. Consequently, that song is now discontinued, and the singing or other broadcasting of it in public is discouraged. In its place is this new metric version, The Ten Days of Christmas. The format and tune are identical to its predecessor.

The Ten Days of Christmas

[First Verse] On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A pascal in a pear tree.

[Last Verse] On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Ten watts a-whirring, nine newtons knocking, eight metres marking, seven litres leaking, six seconds snoozing, five gigatonnes, four kilograms, three hectares, two teravolts, and a pascal in a pear tree.

In the interests of even greater efficiency, and the need to conserve the world’s natural resources, it is permissible, even desirable, to use the following short-form symbolised version in printed matter:

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

10 W a-whirring, 9 N knocking, 8 m marking, 7 L leaking, 6 s snoozing, 5 Gt, 4 kg, 3 ha, 2 TV, and a Pa in a pear tree.

A very metric Christmas to all”

The editors of Metric Views would like to add that they believe any resemblance this article bears to some which have appeared in The Sun, The Express, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail over the past twelve years is intentional. Furthermore, we suspect that the UK would, after much debate and years of delay, decide not to proceed with the new version due to an (inflated) estimate of cost to the taxpayer of reprinting song sheets.

We join with John in offering Seasonal Greetings to our readers.

(Originally posted on 2011-12-18 by derekp)

Author: UK Metric Association

Campaigning for a single, rational system of measurement

3 thoughts on “The Ten Days of Christmas”

  1. The dekadays of Christmas

    I would make some minor changes. I would change gigatonnes, litres and hectares to more true SI units like becquerels, joules and tesla (or others). I know these units are approved for use with SI, but they aren’t true SI units. Plus following gigatonne you already use a mass unit in 4 kg.

    7 L a leaking can be “7 joules (J) a shining”

    Make it 3 MV (the dielectric breakdown of dry air per metre) instead of 2 and let it be 2 T (the magnetic flux density saturation point of steel).

    Anyway, have a very Metric Christmas and an SI New Year!

    (Many will since they will be exchanging gifts engineered, designed and manufactured in SI units.)


  2. Actually, I prefer a metric version of the song “Honey Bun” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, South Pacific:

    My doll is as dainty as a sparrow,
    Her figure is somethin’ to applaud.
    Where she’s narrow she’s as narrow an arrow,
    And she’s broad where a broad should be broad.

    Just fifty-one kilos of fun,
    That’s my little honey bun!
    Get a load of honey bun tonight.

    I’m speakin’ of my Sweetie Pie,
    Just one metre fifty-five,
    Ev’ry millimetre’s dynamite!

    Her hair is blond and curly,
    Her curls are hurly-burly.
    Her lips are pips!
    I call her hips ‘Twirly’ and ‘Whirly.’

    She’s my baby, I’m her pap!
    I’m her booby, she’s my trap!
    I am caught and I don’t wanna run,
    ‘Cause I’m havin’ so much fun with honey bun!

    I am caught and I don’t wanna run,
    ‘Cause I’m havin’ so much fun with honey bun!

    Believe me sonny!
    She a cookie who can cook you ’till you’re done,
    Ain’t bein’ funny!
    Sonny, put your money on my honey bun!

    So what has been gained – and lost – in the transformation? Well, Sweetie-Pie has been beefed up a little. Her body mass Index has risen from a scrawny 19.7 to a more rounded 21.2. With that little extra padding she really can be broad where a broad should be broad. At 155cm, she’s also 2.4cm taller but, she’s still petite, as the average 20 year old woman is about 164cm. The biggest transformation is to change every inch packed with dynamite to every millimetre. So Honey Bun packs an even bigger punch!

    The original lyrics can be found at

    and they can be heard at

    Merry Christmas, everybody!


  3. I laughed when someone believed that gigatonne is a unit. Last time I checked it was still called petagram, but then again, I might be the only one who uses the correct unit.


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