Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Songs

Update :
Thank you, JTKlopcic ! I thought it was a bit strange that I hadn't heard of it before if, it was supposed to be common knowledge and established fact :-0

A sweet idea, but there are no concepts in the song that would not have been acceptable even to the Reformers........


Am I the only person on the planet who did not know that the song "The twelve days of Christmas" was written as a catechetical song at the time that it was illegal to be Catholic in the UK ?

Shamelessly lifted from the blog of St Mary and St Giles church.........

The song goes, "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…" The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, but it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. i.e. the Church.

1st Day:
The partridge in a pear tree is Christ Jesus upon the Cross. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge because she would feign injury to decoy a predator away from her nestlings. She was even willing to die for them. The tree is the symbol of the fall of the human race through the sin of Adam and Eve. It is also the symbol of its redemption by Jesus Christ on the tree of the Cross.

2nd Day:
The "two turtle doves" refers to the Old and New Testaments.

3rd Day:
The "three French hens" stand for faith, hope and love—the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (1 Corinthians 13).

4th Day:
The "four calling birds" refers to the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

5th Day:
The "five golden rings" represents the first five books of the Bible, also called the Jewish Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

6th Day:
The "six geese a-laying" is the six days of creation.

7th Day:
The "seven swans a-swimming" refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

8th Day:
The "eight maids a milking " reminded children of the eight beatitudes listed in the Sermon on the Mount.

9th Day:
The "nine ladies dancing" were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

10th Day:
The "ten lords a-leaping" represents the Ten Commandments

11th Day:
The "eleven pipers piping" refers to the eleven faithful apostles.

12th Day:
The ‘twelve drummers drumming" were the twelve points of belief expressed in the Apostles’ Creed: belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, made man, crucified, died and arose on the third day, that he sits at the right hand of the father and will come again, the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.
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JTKlopcic said...

That's just silly. See snopes.com.

Huw said...

Ah, JTK beat me to it.

I've also heard this song rendered as "really" pagan - from the "burning times" when it was illegal to be pagan. All oppressed people (Pagans under Christians, Catholics under Prots) desire to see records of their oppression.

Wiki says it's linguistically French.

And we know that means it's a record of the French cultural oppression of the rest of us :-)

Blessed Feast!