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Christmas Trivia


What in the world do leaping lords, French hens,

swimming swans, and especially that partridge in

 a pear tree have to do with Christmas?

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in

England were not allowed 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 turtledoves were the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, love and hope.

The four calling birds were for the four Gospels

of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

 The Five golden rings recalled the torah of 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, 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, Self-control.

The ten lords a- leaping were the Ten Commandments.

Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve

points of belief in the Apostles` creed.

So, there is your history lesson for today, it is

interesting and creative.

And now we know how that strange song became

a Christmas carol!