I just read an interesting article at www.ichilly.com about the old Christmas song, 12 Days of Christmas. This song has always intrigued me, because I wonder who could write such a song. Took some creativity and, well, the song just doesn’t seem to have presents that most people would want. I don’t know about you, but if somebody gave me ten lords leaping, I would ask them to take it back and get me a 50” plasma. 12 drummers might be cool for a couple of hours, but 12 drummers would get old by day 2.
Ichilly.com gave the history of this song and then it all made sense. Enjoy the background of this song:
“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.
- Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament (aka Pentateuch).
- 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.
- Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes (Matthew 5).
- Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, 12 Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
- Ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
- Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
- Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The Apostles Creed.”