An Unforgettable Version of the Twelve Days of Christmas

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I have always found the Twelve Days of Christmas a bit boring.  I was therefore enchanted when I heard this off-beat version by the acapella group Straight No Chaser as my son and I were driving back from the U of I yesterday after I picked him up after finals.  Humor, the needed leavening of life!

3 Responses to An Unforgettable Version of the Twelve Days of Christmas

  • T. Shaw says:

    I apologize for the length of this and that I don’t have the citation.

    “From 1558 until 1829, Roman 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 is Jesus Christ.

    -Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.

    -Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.

    -The four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

    -The five golden rings recall the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

    -The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.

    -Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

    -The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.

    -Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,
    Gentleness, and Self Control.

    -The ten lords a-leaping are the ten commandments.

    -The eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.

    -The twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

    “So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol…

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