The Truth Behind the song 12 Days of Christmas???

I was going to look into the Christmas tree and wreath first, but then I ran into a possible reality about the song “12 Days of Christmas” and I really wanted to find out if it was true.

Well here’s what I found…..


It is said that the traditional Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written as a secret teaching tool to instruct children in the meaning of the Christian faith. From 1558 to 1829 Roman Catholics in England were, apparently, forbidden from openly practicing their religion. So, this carol was devised to get the message across without upsetting the Protestants. Here is the broken code, thanks to this contribution from Guyneitha.



Hidden definition

My true love
Partridge in a pear tree
Two Turtle Doves
Three French hens
Four calling birds
Five gold rings
Six geese a-laying
Seven swans a-swimming
Eight maids a-milking
Nine ladies dancing
Ten lords a-leaping
Eleven pipers piping
Twelve drummers drumming

The Christian
The old and new testaments
Faith, hope and love
The four gospels
The first five books of the Bible
The six days of creation
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
The beatitudes
The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
The ten commandments
The eleven faithful disciples
The twelve points of the apostle creed


Isn’t that awesome!!!
Now let’s see if it’s true? 

interesting find :
In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ’s sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so…”

A ha! The song has taken me into a bit of a different history lesson. I did not plan to take this route, but I’m glad it went there because I did use to wonder what was up with the actual 12 days of Christmas? Did they actually exist? Apparently they do!

The Twelve Days of Christmas is probably the most misunderstood part of the church year among Christians who are not part of liturgical church traditions. Contrary to much popular belief, these are not the twelve days before Christmas, but in most of the Western Church are the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany.(January 6th; the 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th). In some traditions, the first day of Christmas begins on the evening of December 25th with the following day considered the First Day of Christmas (December 26th). In these traditions, the twelve days begin December 26 and include Epiphany on January 6.

The origin and counting of the Twelve Days is complicated, and is related to differences in calendars, church traditions, and ways to observe this holy day in various cultures.  In the Western church, Epiphany is usually celebrated as the time the Wise Men or Magi arrived to present gifts to the young Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12). In some cultures, especially Hispanic and Latin American culture, January 6th is observed as Three Kings Day, or simply the Day of the Kings (Spain: la Fiesta de Reyesel Dia de los Tres Reyes, or el Dia de los Reyes Magos; Dutch:Driekoningendag).  Even though December 25th is celebrated as Christmas in these cultures, January 6th is often the day for giving gifts. In some places it is traditional to give Christmas gifts for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Since Eastern Orthodox traditions use a different religious calendar, they celebrate Christmas on January 7th and observe Epiphany or Theophany on January 19th.

I like the sound of this! We can celebrate Christmas a little longer :D

Now, back to the song.

Most of what I found says there’s no actual data to back up this claim, but it is a nice thought. he he…

It also claims that the songs been changed over the years. Where we have four calling birds it was originally four Colly or Collie birds, which are blackbirds and the fifth gift was five ring-necked birds instead of jewelry. We’d have a lot of birds by this day! ha ha

The song first appeared in a children’s book titled “Mirth without mischief.” It was first seen as a memory game. The first person would say a verse and then another would have to repeat it then add one of their own. Who ever messed up in some way had to give a kiss or some time of present. This became a very popular game at Twelfth Night parties.

Here’s something they say it may have gotten mixed up with. It’s a song called “A New Dial” which dates to at least 1625 and assigns religious meanings to each day of the 12 days of Christmas.

|: In those twelve days let us be glad :|
For God of His power hath all things made.
What are they that are but one?
What are they that are but one?

We have one God alone
In heaven above sits on His throne:

What are they which are by two?
Two testaments, the old and new,
We do acknowledge to be true:

What are they which are but three?
Three persons in the Trinity
Which make one God in unity:

What are they which are but four
Four sweet Evangelists there are,
Christ’s birth, life, death which do declare:

What are they which are but five?
Five senses, like five kings, maintain
In every man a several reign:

What are they which are but six?
Six days to labor is not wrong,
For God himself did work so long:What are they which are but seven?
Seven liberal arts hath God sent down
With divine skill man’s soul to crown:

What are they which are but eight?
Eight Beatitudes are there given
Use them right and go to heaven:

What are they which are but nine?
Nine Muses, like the heaven’s nine spheres,
With sacred tunes entice our ears:

What are they which are but ten?
Ten statutes God to Moses gave
Which, kept or broke, do spill or save:

What are they which are but eleven?
Eleven thousand virgins did partake
And suffered death for Jesus’ sake:

What are they which are but twelve?
Twelve are attending on God’s son;
Twelve make our creed. The Dial’s done:

Yupp! There’s actually a lot of information about this out there as well.
Everything I find says it could go either way because there’s not sound proof for it being true or false. Just there most likely guess of it being false. Especially because of how far back they can trace it and all the different meanings I found behind the gifts. That’s kinda getting depressing! (Not really) I keep finding out cool things that will once again put Jesus where He belongs. Right smack in the middle of all our Christmas celebrating, but so far none of this stuff is adding up.

Oh well! It’s still ALL about Him and he is in EVERYTHING!!!!
This will still make for a good thought to share with others.

Oh the possibilities of wat we do not know!


I left you guys some notes in my comments.

4 thoughts on “The Truth Behind the song 12 Days of Christmas???

  1. Sorry guys if this was poorly put together, but I didn’t have very much time and I wanted to get you guys some more info. I may have to do another post on my findings of actually celebrating 12 days of Christmas. I also trying to keep these things short and just influence you into doing some digging. :D

Share Your Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s