Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Thursday Thirteen #10 — Carol’s 13 True Meanings

Posted by infinitygoods on December 12, 2007

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Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen, where you get to learn little-known details about me or things important to me. For the complete list of this week’s participants, just head over to Thursday Thirteen.

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I have loved the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” for many years, but when I recently learned the true meaning of that song, I appreciated this carol even more. This is one of the favorites at my church too, and we always get great audience participation during our Christmas concerts.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” has hidden meanings which were taught to Catholic children during times of persecution, much like the Jews used dreidels during their own times of persecution. Here’s what I learned on how to decipher the code:

  1. On the first day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me; Who could possibly be my True Love? Why, God, is my True Love of course!
  2. A Partridge in a pear tree = The partridge is Jesus Christ (none of the sources I found said what the pear tree stood for, but I think it would be safe to think it is the cross);
  3. Two Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments;
  4. Three French Hens = Faith, Hope and Love;
  5. Four Calling Birds (some people claim it is Colley Birds or black birds) = The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John;
  6. Five Gold Rings = The Torah, which is the first five books of the Old Testament;
  7. Six Geese A-Laying = The six days of creation (on the seventh day God rested);
  8. Seven Swans A-Swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, wonder/awe in God);
  9. Eight Maids A-Milking = The eight Beatitudes
  10. Nine Ladies Dancing = The fruits of the Holy Spirit (from the Old Testament: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control);
  11. Ten Lords A-Leaping = The Ten Commandments;
  12. Eleven Pipers Piping = The eleven faithful disciples;
  13. Twelve Drummers Drumming = The twelve beliefs in the Apostles’ Creed

Be sure to check my Christmas Tips, Ideas and Resources and my Household Tips.

Happy Thursday!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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8 Responses to “Thursday Thirteen #10 — Carol’s 13 True Meanings”

  1. elephantlady777 said

    I did not know this.
    Happy tt!

  2. nicholas said

    Interesting. And it’s still a fun song if you take it literally.

  3. Natalie said

    Very interesting!

    My T13 post is up, come check it out if you get a chance. 🙂

  4. Alison said

    I never would have thought of this. Especially Jesus as a partridge!

  5. Very, very impressive.

    The Pink Flamingo

  6. damozel said

    In Britain, they actually HAD 12 days of Christmas. I was under the impression the song was written in commemoration of each of these (?) The Catholic connection seems a bit tenuous. It’s a pretty recent song, I think (?)

  7. jennifer said

    Great post!! I love learning something new every day!

  8. Janet said

    Never heard this before, how interesting!

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