The “Twelve Days of Christmas” is today a favorite fun Christmas song that the majority of us sing a long to without really understanding its origin or its meaning. Although many may consider this a children’s nonsense song it is considered to have been written in England with hidden meanings to help English Catholic children remember different articles of religion during the persecution by Protestant Monarchs in the 16th century. It was a time when to be caught with anything in ‘writing’ indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could not only allow you to get imprisoned, it may get you hanged!
During this period in England when it was actually a crime to be a Catholic, the “Twelve Days of 12 Days Of Christmas continues to be suggested to originally happen to be an “Underground Catechism” used as being an aid to understand and spread the teachings from the religion. It had been a means to camouflage and uphold their religion which had been illegal to become practiced publicly or privately!
Let’s check out the symbols. ‘True love’ fails to represent a suitor in fact it represented ‘God’, the “me” who receives the gifts is suggested to be every baptized person. The gifts themselves represented different ideas as follows:
The “Partridge in a pear tree” was Jesus.
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments in the Bible
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity – the Theological Virtues.
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
5 Golden Rings = The very first Five Books from the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which relays the historical past of man’s fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six times of Creation.
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven sacraments – gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes (solemn blessings)
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit.
10 Lords A-leaping = the Ten Commandments.
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles.
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed.
However not all believe this version in the background of the song to be true. Inside the book “A Celebration of History” by Leigh Grand, the phrase towards the song were written round the late 1700’s as well as the music came a while earlier from France. He shows that the song is nothing more than a child’s memory game. In accordance with Grand the song has no religious significance whatsoever! He says that the object of the song was to facilitate a game title where child needed to remember which gift came next and loose a turn if forgotten.
No matter what version you believe this song reinforces the thought of gift giving linked to the history of festivities. If an individual gift is given on a daily basis in this particular song then we can recount an overall of 364 gifts given with 184 of them being birds. Birds must have been a prized gift back in the old days! Recently an economist computes each year the cost for all jibgzl gifts within this song adjusted to inflation. In 2005 the computed Christmas Price Index cost for the gifts within the song was $72,608. This is done purely for fun from an economist’s point of view!
If you wish to listen to this famous Christmas song you are able to download or play it at no cost online or you can purchase a copy from Amazon.com – Enjoy, sing-along, enter into the festive spirit and find out how good your memory is! She invites one to visit her radio podcast show “Conversations with Mrs Claus”, An inspirational show with fascinating guests world-wide with prizes to get won! Also come check us out and join her free inspirational Christmas newsletter with great recipes, insights & gift suggestions & receive inspirational free gifts including her free 10 day e-course with audio “Amazing Ways to Enrich Your Christmas Experience!”