Join Dee’s Circle for giveaways, videos and VIP privileges
December 24, 2007
Twelve Days of Christmas
I've never really cared for the song The Twelve Days of Christmas and could never understand how in the world it became a Christmas carol. There is an email floating around that gave me a whole new perspective.
It said that from 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine qualities of the fruit of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
I looked this up to see if it was really true and the internet sites devoted to debunking hoaxes and legends says that there is no substantive evidence to demonstrate that the song was created or used as a secret means of preserving tenets of the Catholic faith NOR is there any substantive evidence that will disprove it either.
So, this very well could be why it was written and why it became so popular. In any case, the next time I hear this song, I will try to recall what the "hidden meaning" is and will, hopefully, enjoy the song a lot more than I used to.
Hope you have a very merry Christmas!
by Deeanne on 12/24/2007
I like the Muppet version with Beaker and Miss Piggy contributing. Didn't realize it had such deep meaning! Happy Christmas Miz Dee!
Merry Christmas, Dee!
Thanks for sharing. This is one of my daughter's favorite songs. Her preschool did a Christian version with hand motions that was absolutely adorable. Now I like it even more.