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Callmecrazy

(3,065 posts)
Sun Dec 8, 2013, 10:03 AM Dec 2013

Urban legend? What do turtle doves and French hens have to do with Christmas? Here's what...

Last edited Sun Dec 8, 2013, 11:32 AM - Edit history (2)

From 1558 to 1829, English Roman Catholics were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. Each verse has a secret meaning known only to the members of the Church.

The partridge in a pear tree refers to Jesus Christ

Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testament

Three french hens refers to faith, hope and love

Four calling birds are the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

Five golden rings refers to the Torah, or Law. The first five books of the Old Testament

Six geese a laying recalls the six days of creation

Seven swans a swimming represent 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, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

Ten lords a leaping are the ten Commandments

Eleven pipers pipng stood for the eleven faithful Disciples

Twelve drummers drumming symbolizes the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed




And so friends, that is your history, or trivia, lesson for the day. It was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening to know how a strange song became a Christmas Carol and now I share it with you.

Merry Twelve Days of Christmas Everyone.



4 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Urban legend? What do turtle doves and French hens have to do with Christmas? Here's what... (Original Post) Callmecrazy Dec 2013 OP
Just another urban legend RandiFan1290 Dec 2013 #1
Snopes is the first place I head, as well. antiquie Dec 2013 #2
an interesting one. Callmecrazy Dec 2013 #3
Not surprising... Wounded Bear Dec 2013 #4

Wounded Bear

(58,840 posts)
4. Not surprising...
Sun Dec 8, 2013, 12:17 PM
Dec 2013

The supposed code just feels patched on to the verses. Snopes did a good job on that one.

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