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Has Anyone Ever Heard of This?  

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I found this on the net, I never knew the meaning of this song...EVER...I thought it was one of the strangest songs ever. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas? Did any of you know the hidden meaning?

The History of The 12 Days Of Christmas

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 NewTestaments.

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 fruits 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

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve
points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today.
This knowledge was shared with me and I found it
interesting and enlightening and now I
know how that strange song became a
Christmas Carol...so pass it on if you wish."

May God grant you peace and
happiness throughout this
Christmas Season.

Just thought it was interesting
post #2 of 8
Thats very interesting Cat...I never gave the songs possible meaning any thought, I just took it as gifts given to "my true love", and as a song we all knew and loved.
Now I love it even more!

I can't believe I made it through 41 years and never knew this before now!
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Wild, huh? !! :laughing2 Don't feel like the lone ! :laughing2

post #4 of 8
If you count the individual items given in the rhyme, the singer receives 364 gifts from her true love - one for every day of the year except Christmas, when God gave Jesus to the world.

Oh, and the "true love" is God, who loves all of humanity. It was sung in the style of a love song to further disguise it.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 


I shall officially think of you as the "Archive Goddess"! You simply have knowledge to almost every subject available to mankind! Seriously, you never cease to amaze me!!!

post #6 of 8
Yep that's me - packed with useless information!

Just don't ask me about anything practical like cooking or laundry. Or sports. Or cars.

Besides, I'm an at-home mom. Not to imply that I do nothing with my time, but I have plenty of opportunities to fill my brain with whatever interests me, since I don't have all that gray matter occupied by job stuff.

Oh, yeah, and I'm a genius too as if
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

You forgot to mention SmartA** hahaha! :laughing2 :laughing2...that's one of the finer qualities I love in anyone!

post #8 of 8
Cat - I've heard that once before, but it's been a long time. Thanks for posting it!
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