What in the world do leaping lords,
swimming swans, and especially that
a pear tree have to do with
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in
England were not allowed to practice
openly. Someone during that era
carol as a catechism song for young
It has two levels of meaning; the surface
plus a hidden meaning known only to
of their church.
Each element in the carol has a code word
a religious reality, which the
children could remember.
The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus
Two turtledoves were the Old and New
Three French hens stood for faith, love
The four calling birds were for the four
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
gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation,
Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a – milking were the
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits
of the Holy Spirit:
Love, Peace, Joy, Patience, Kindness,
The ten lords a- leaping were the Ten
Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven
Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the
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
a Christmas carol!