Sunday, 20 December 2009


If you already know the origins of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' then let me not detain you further. However, if this information has previously escaped your attention then allow me to enlighten you.

Popular legend has it that it contains a coded message within having been written during the period when thanks originally to the efforts of Henry VIII, Catholics were suppressed (1558-1829) and were not allowed to openly practice their religion.

The items in each verse had religious significance and were intended to help Catholic children to remember the key features of their faith. 'My true love' (God) actually gave the following:

12 drummers drumming = the twelve points of the Apostle's creed.

11 pipers piping = the eleven disciples (not counting Judas).

10 lords a-leaping = the ten commandments.

9 ladies dancing = the nine fruits of the Holy spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

8 maids a-milking = the eight beatitudes (Christ's blessings from the sermon on the mount).

7 swans a-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy spirit (prophecy, serving, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership and mercy).

6 geese a-laying = the six days of creation.

5 gold rings = the Torah or law (the first five books of the Old Testament).

4 Colley birds = the four gospels. Note not 'calling' birds. Colley birds were blackbirds.

3 French hens = faith, hope and love.

2 turtle doves = the Old and New Testaments.

The partridge in the pear tree being Jesus himself.

Now I'm off to examine Rudolph. I suspect that his red-nose could be a subversive ploy by Alcoholics Anonymous!


  1. Tony don't worry Rudolph is still in De Nile which is a river in Egypt. Merry Christmas

  2. Nope. Never knew that. I love how I am always learning something new. No matter how old I get. :)