The 12 Days of a Baylor Christmas

by Sylvia Hernandez, BULAA Project Archivist

‘Tis the season to decorate trees, bake some cookies, visit our loved ones, and sing along to our favorite holiday tunes. Undoubtedly at least one version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” will grace our ears before the season ends, but which one? Will it be more traditional in the style of Burl Ives or more outlandish in the way of Jeff Foxworthy? How about one you may not know exists? How about a Baylor Football version?

Walter Abercrombie displaying his moves on a carry against Texas Tech.

The 1980 Baylor Football team finished the season as Southwest Conference Champions with an invitation to play in the 1981 Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day. Support for the team was shown with the creation of memorabilia – think bumper stickers, Dr Pepper bottles, t-shirts, etc.—and a few songs. Yes! More than one.

Tackling, catching, passing; all are represented in “The 12 Days of a Baylor Christmas” as follows:

“On the twelfth day of Christmas, Grant Teaff gave to me:

Robert Bledsoe kicking against Rice.
  • The Bears high in Cotton,
  • Joe Campbell tackling,
  • Doak Field Crushing,
  • Buzzy Nelson snapping,
  • McGeary blocking field goals,
  • McElroy’s interceptions,
  • Radar Holt catching,
  • Ab-er-crom-bie’s moves…
  • Singletary sacking,
  • Jeffrey throwing passes,
  • Robert Bledsoe kicking,
  • And a Baylor Bears Cotton Bowl Team.”

With lyrics written by Jean Kettler, Mack Hayes, Sandra Hayes, and vocals sung by Darrel John, the tune conjures memories from over 35 years ago as it recounts the feats of athleticism displayed by our beloved Bears. Although the Cotton Bowl didn’t end as hoped, songs and other items stand as the testament of ongoing support for our athletic programs.

Author’s Note: This song was played on local radio and released in local record stores. If you have a copy, let us know, we would love to hear it!

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