We received an email about this song
from a friend and thought we’d share
the story with you.
It said that from 1558 to 1829, Roman
Catholics in England were not permitted to
practice their faith openly.
And “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was
written as a catechism song for young
The song had a dual-purpose. Enjoyment of
the song for most and a hidden reminder for
those who knew the code.
Said code is as follows:
The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus
Two turtle doves were the Old and New
Three French horns stood for faith, hope,
The four calling birds were the gospels
of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah
or Law, the first five books of the Old
The six geese a-laying stood for the six
days of creation.
The 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
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
The eleven pipers piping stood for the
eleven faithful disciples.
And the twelve drummers drumming spoke of
the twelve points of belief in the
We did not verify the above because we
found it a beautiful tale as is, and we
choose to believe.
Comments are always welcome.