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Dgreetings » Gift Ideas » Christmas Gifts » Carols » Twelve Days Of Christmas
 

Twelve Days Of Christmas

These are the twelve days beginning on night of Christmas, December 25 and ending on the day of 6th January as Epiphany begins then. During the Middle Ages, The twelfth night was the traditional end of Christmas. It was a period of feasting and continuous merrymaking. The title of one of the most popular Christmas carols is ‘Twelve days of Christmas' and it talks about various extravagant gifts to be given on each day of this festival.
History of The Carol
Although the date of the first performance of the carol remains unknown, it is commonly acknowledged as one of the oldest Christmas Carols ever. In the 16 th century, it was used in European and Scandinavian traditions. The song basically enumerates the gifts that ‘my true love’ gave me on the Twelve days of Christmas. It is a cumulative song, meaning that each verse is built on top of the previous verses. There are twelve verses!

Interpretation of the twelve gifts
This song, it is believed was written in the 16 th century by English Christians who suffered persecution, they meant for it to have a hidden meaning. However this belief does not hold much merit as the 16th century English Christians were being persecuted by Christians themselves and none of the doctrines mentioned in the song were so blasphemous that they would need to be molded into hidden meanings. Therefore, there is no substantive historical evidence to prove this theory. The gifts are generally interpreted as follows-:

  • The 'partridge in a pear tree' is Jesus
  • The 'two turtle doves' are the Old and New Testaments
  • The 'three French hens' are the three virtues, faith, hope, and love, or, alternatively, a symbol of the holy Trinity.
  • The 'four calling birds' are the Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; or their Gospels
  • 'Five gold rings' are the first five books of the Bible, or the Pentateuch
  • 'Six geese a-laying' refer to the six days of the Creation
  • 'Seven swans a-swimming' are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • 'Eight maids a-milking' are the eight Beatitudes
  • 'Nine ladies dancing' are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
  • 'Ten lords a-leaping' are the Ten Commandments
  • 'Eleven pipers piping' are the eleven faithful Apostles
  • 'Twelve drummers drumming' are the twelve doctrines in the Apostles' Creed

    Over the years the song has been subjected to many parodies and spoofs and is today said to be the most parodied song ever! One of the most popular parodies is by Bob Rivers and his comedy troop, The Twelve pains of Christmas. The song elaborates on all the things that literally drive people insane during the crazy Christmas rush like decoration, gift giving, dealing with family and singing carols. He goes on to include in the list hilarious things like ‘ finding a Christmas tree, rigging up the lights, hangovers, sending Christmas cards, five months of bills, facing my in-laws, charities and others .'



    Lyrics Of Twelve Days of Christmas

    On the first day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    A partridge in a pear tree.

    On the second day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the third day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the fourth day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the fifth day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the sixth day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Six geese a-laying,
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the seventh day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Seven swans a-swimming,
    Six geese a-laying,
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the eighth day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Eight maids a-milking,
    Seven swans a-swimming,
    Six geese a-laying,
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the ninth day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Nine ladies dancing,
    Eight maids a-milking,
    Seven swans a-swimming,
    Six geese a-laying,
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the tenth day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Ten lords a-leaping,
    Nine ladies dancing,
    Eight maids a-milking,
    Seven swans a-swimming,
    Six geese a-laying,
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the eleventh day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Eleven pipers piping,
    Ten lords a-leaping,
    Nine ladies dancing,
    Eight maids a-milking,
    Seven swans a-swimming,
    Six geese a-laying,
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree.

    On the twelfth day of Christmas,
    my true love sent to me
    Twelve drummers drumming,
    Eleven pipers piping,
    Ten lords a-leaping,
    Nine ladies dancing,
    Eight maids a-milking,
    Seven swans a-swimming,
    Six geese a-laying,
    Five golden rings,
    Four calling birds,
    Three French hens,
    Two turtle doves,
    And a partridge in a pear tree



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