Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Andy Griffith Once Calculated the Cost of ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’: See the Total

Andy Griffith Once Calculated the Cost of ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’: See the Total

Everyone has heard The Twelve Days of Christmas at one time or another, but have you had Andy Griffith add it all up? Well, hold on to your favorite Mayberry memories of ol’ Andy. He’s going to get busy figuring this out, OK? Yet it’s not going to be in modern-day prices.

Nope, Griffith took on the task himself while being a guest on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. In case you didn’t know, Campbell, the popular country-western singer and guitar player extraordinaire, had his own variety show on CBS. For this Christmas episode, we turn our Wayback Machine to 1969.

As this sketch begins, Campbell tells Griffith he’s planning to really spoil his wife this Christmas. His plan is to buy her all the gifts mentioned in The Twelve Days of Christmas. Campbell intimated that it probably will not cost him much at all, MeTV reports.

Andy Griffith Gets Help For His Effort

Well, this is where Griffith steps up to the plate. He asks for an adding machine and a choir to help him move through the numbered days. What will all of this cost in 1969 prices? Let’s see.

For a partridge in a pear tree, $10 for the partridge, $6.75 for the pear tree, and $2.98 for the pot to put it in.

Two turtledoves? $14 for each, plus $43 for the cage.

What about three French hens? “Now if you get the layers, at least you can get somethin’ back on the eggs.” $45 for the hens, plus $500 because “you’ve got to have a chicken coop.”

For four calling birds, Griffith said a “talking bird” like a parrot is needed. Why? So they can tell Campbell’s wife he loves her. $300 for the parrots and cages, plus $600 more for a parrot trainer so they don’t call Campbell’s wife by another woman’s name, since “that’d ruin your whole Christmas.”

Five golden rings would cost $500 for all of the rings.

Six geese-a-laying runs $120 for the geese, plus $750 for a goose pen.

Then, seven swans a-swimming? Figure in $700 for the swans, and $5,000 to re-landscape Campbell’s property to add a pond for them. Campbell argues that he could just put the swans in the tub, but Griffith says that “wouldn’t they feel foolish?”

Let’s Add Up What Is Available For Christmas

Eight maids a-milking runs $200 for the maids’ time, plus $4,000 for the milking cows, $100 for feed, and $20,000 for a new barn.

What about nine ladies dancing? “Now nine dancers gotta be at least a couple of thousand, plus another thousand for the choreographer,” Griffith says.

Ten lords a-leaping costs, “I would say that your average lord wouldn’t take too kindly to flying all the way from London to Glen Campbell’s house on Christmas just so they can leap for the little lady.” Airfare, hotels, and pocket money Griffith estimates at $8,500.

And finally, 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming. Well, Griffith suggests that the combined pipers and drummers will cost about $2,000…. but Campbell will have to remodel his living room to fit all of them in, which will cost much more. Campbell argues about this, and Griffith concedes “you know, you’re right. After all the birds and cows and swans have been in there, you gonna have to sell your house. You’ll be lucky to get much for it after all the animals been in there.” They agreed on a $10,000 loss from the sale of the house.

Total all that up and Campbell and Griffith peer at a receipt for $210,304.15.

“Plus sales tax,” Griffith said. “Why don’t you get your wife what I’m gettin’ mine?”

“What’re you getting her?” Campbell asks.

“Bottle of perfume.”