Name this fragment of a tune
December 16, 2016 8:11 PM   Subscribe

In this video of the 12 Days of Christmas, what is the tune being quoted at about the 5 min. mark?
posted by mpark to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like the "lonely goatherd" from The Sound of Music
posted by littlesq at 8:27 PM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm almost positive it's from the first act of The Nutcracker, maybe during the course of the party sequence somewhere?
posted by Sara C. at 9:33 PM on December 16, 2016

Sounds like the "lonely goatherd" from The Sound of Music

AKA the Laendler.
posted by mochapickle at 9:42 PM on December 16, 2016

The Nutcracker excerpt is at about 4:15.
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:11 PM on December 16, 2016

Yes it is The Lonely Goatherd but not the version where they are doing the puppet or marionette show (in case that memory is throwing you off). It's a later waltz version when Maria and the Captain dance. Tchaikavsky is also heard in this arrangement of 12 days of Christmas, as is Brahms (geese a-laying) and Rimsky Korsakov. An over the top version of the song but very nicely done.
posted by mulcahy at 10:23 PM on December 16, 2016

The 4:15 excerpt that the ballerinas are dancing to is from Swan Lake. It's the "Dance Of The Little Swans". That's definitely not what I was referring to. On the other hand, I now can't find the piece I thought was at the 5 minute mark in the first act of the Nutcracker, so...

It also occurs to me that if they're taking their "samples" from music that refers to what each entry in the Twelve Days litany is, and not holiday music specifically ("Dance of The Little Swans" for "Seven swans a-swimming", get it?), something tangentially associated with Switzerland makes sense for the maids a-milking.
posted by Sara C. at 10:26 PM on December 16, 2016

It is reminiscent of "The Lonely Goatherd" but I don't think that's it.
posted by mpark at 6:45 AM on December 17, 2016

Honestly, I think it could just be an instrumental improvisation prepared by the arranger.
posted by WCityMike at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2016

I doubt it, WCityMike, because a. it sounds so darn familiar, and b. as Sara C. notes, the other little interludes are musical quotations that refer to the day's gifts (which is another point against The Lonely Goatherd imo, because Switzerland relates to milkmaids how??)

Anyway, I won't be looking at this thread again, so if anyone figures out the tune, email me please!
posted by mpark at 1:29 AM on December 20, 2016

"Swiss Miss", dairy brands called things like "Alpine" blah and "Lucerne" foo implies that at least for some people, there has long been a mental connection between Switzerland and milk-maids. So, yeah, I vote The Laendler, probably.
posted by Sara C. at 12:52 PM on December 20, 2016

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