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The Twelve Days of Christmas

Written in 1780


The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is an English Christmas carol. 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 the Church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
The History of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'

On the "" day of Christmas, My true love sent to me - Symbolizes
1st A Partridge in a Pear Tree Jesus Christ
2nd Two Turtle Doves The Old and New Testaments
3rd Three French Hens Faith, Hope, and Charity
4th Four Calling Birds The Four Gospels
5th Five Golden Rings The first five books of the Old Testament
6th Six Geese A-laying The six days of creation
7th Seven Swans A-swimming The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit - The seven sacraments
8th Eight Maids A-milking The eight beatitudes
9th Nine Ladies Dancing The nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10th Ten Lords A-leaping The Ten Commandments
11th Eleven Pipers Piping The eleven faithful apostles
12th Twelve Drummers Drumming The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed