One of the things I love about history and research is that I come across the craziest things about stuff. I’m the independent sort that enjoys a new point of view on things. If it’s more than I ever thought, even better.
Like Humpty Dumpty. I rattled this little ditty off many time as a kid, but I had no clue it was a political satire with a hidden meaning that pointed at the government who was going to fall and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men would never be able to fix it again.
Well, I learned recently that there are some who think that the song of 12 days of Christmas is just a cute song. And some don’t think that. They say that each day has a significant meaning because the Catholics from 1558-1829 were not allowed to preach their faith. I had no clue that during this time period the English Parliament had prohibited any expression of the Catholic faith, public or private, upon the threat of being drawn and quartered…literally.
So in order to” keep the faith” the Catholics taught their children this lovely little song and quietly told them the true symbolism behind each one…
Day one “Partridge in a Pear tree”
Jesus is the mother partridge who fakes injury so her children will survive thus the savior
Day two “Two Turtle Doves” Old and New Testament
Day three “Three French Hens” Faith Hope and Charity
Day four “Four calling birds” Four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John or the four evangelists
Day five “FIVE golden Rings” The five books of the old Testament/Pentateuch of man’s fall from grace
Day six “Six geese a laying” the six days of creation
Day seven “Seven swans a swimming’ Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit or the seven sacraments
Day eight “Eight maids a milking” Eight Beatitudes
Day nine “Nine ladies dancing” Nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
Day ten “Ten Lords a leaping” The 10 Commandments
Day eleven “Eleven Pipers Piping” Eleven faithful apostles
Day twelve. “Twelve Drummers Drumming.” The twelve points of the Apostle’s Creed
but some say this is poppycock…mainly Snopes.
Snopes points out that this could bes a song by all Christians who can not show their faith openly. Nor were the Catholics executed so horribly from Henry VIII until Queen Elizabeth. Sometimes yes. Sometimes not. It is a fanciful tale. Snopes says there is no documentation or supporting evidence to this. And the claim appears to have a date around 1990 when someone attached these meaning to this fun song. What is the most paramount flaw is that even when the Protestant and the Catholics were at each other throats, they were believing much the same tenets as the song states if the associations are true. So how could this ditty be tied directly to either group
Now this could be tried in a court with a defense and prosecution going either way. For me, I’ll just enjoy the song and try to remember just what comes next. I more often get the ladies dancing and lords leaping mixed up.
How about you? Can you remember all twelve of the days of Christmas? If so, you’re better than I am.
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A One Day Blog Hop
December 21st 2013 – longest night
(unless you are in the southern hemisphere, in which case, it will be longest day!