Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Christmas Carol

I found this very interesting....

From 1558 until 1829 Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning:  the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.
Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
-The five golden rings recalled the Rorah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit - prophesy, serving, teaching, exhortation, conribution, leadership and mercy
-The eight maids a -milking were the eight beatitudes
-nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--love, joy, peace, gentleness and self control
-the ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments
-the eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples
-the twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed

I have always wondered about this Christmas Carol and I now I am happy to know that it has a Christian meaning behind the words.

Hugs and blessings,


  1. oh this is great!! my husband always hated that song...well I guess hate it too strong of a word.
    it bored him to death. I will have to let him see this. Thank you so much for sharing this, I had no idea!!

    How are you doing??

  2. Thanks so much Nancy for sharing this. I heard someone years ago and was trying to remember the symbolism. How creative!

  3. Interesting.
    I'll never hear that song
    the same way again:)
    Thanks and happy snowy days to you,

  4. Hi Nancy, thanks so much for sharing this! There just had to be a more meaningful reason inside this song...What a delight...hope all is well with you...(((hugs)))

  5. I know it's beside the point, Nancy, but *love* the quilt in this picture! So pretty....

    Merry Christmas, Friend......Your coming into my life was a very timely gift......

    all the best,

  6. Thank you for sharing, very interesting post!

  7. Nancy;
    My beautiful friend. I so enjoyed your post today and your little angel is precious! Life gives us so many blessings...our God is so good to us. Family is our greatest treasure.

    thank you for your encouraging words to me this year...see you in 2011!


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