"Who would give someone a partridge in a pear tree?", so when my wife voiced her question, "Who wrote the 12 Days of Christmas" I instinctively G__gled my list of possible answers... I like the very first one I opened... with no claims of validity implied, it's an interesting concept:
The Meaning of...
The Twelve Days Of Christmas
By Tim Knappenberger
"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved--and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. "
In the not-so-tolerant past, music and poetry were often used as media of expression for ideas that were not in fashionable with the contemporary powers that be. Mother Goose rhymes were disguised political commentaries of their day. The Twelve Days of Christmas was written along similar lines. While "surfing", I happened on this history of the carol. There was no author cited:
The English began writing carols in the 15th century, but later the Puritans suppressed these religious songs altogether. After Christmas was restored in England, festive songs praising feasting and good will developed. During this time, Catholics in England could not openly practice their faith. So, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" became popular as a Catechism song for young Catholics, according to Ann Ball's book, "A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals."
* Instead of referring to a suitor, the "true love" mentioned in the song refers to God.
* The "me" receiving the presents is symbolic of every baptized person.
* The partridge in the pear tree is Jesus Christ, and in the song, He is symbolically presented as a mother partridge who feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings.
The other symbols carry their own religious meanings:
* Two turtle doves: The Old and New Testaments
* Three french hens: Faith, hope and charity
* Four calling birds: The four Gospels
* Five gold rings: The first five books of the Old Testament or the Torah
* Six geese a laying: The six days of creation
* Seven swans a-swimming: The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
* Eight maids a-milking: The eight Beatitudes
* Nine ladies dancing: The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
* Ten lords a-leaping: The Ten Commandments
* Eleven pipers piping: The eleven faithful disciples
* Twelve drummers drumming: The twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed
How interesting and sad that a song written to secretly remind Christians about the doctrines of their faith was disguised so well that after 400 years, the secular world more identifies with this carol than do Christians who are mostly unaware of its origins and meanings.
The freedom to exercise our faith in this country is still amazing. Cherish it this Christmas!
por: RMaxT at 12/20/2006
Click To Play
Click To Play
Hey you guys... some of you who have known me for a while [like since the "80's"] will remember a common friend who we referred to as 'Snakey'. Good news travels slow, but you know how rumors go... Danny Martinez (aka Snakey) was assumed or presumed dead, however the news of his demise was greatly exagerated. If you need his email address just drop me a line in the comments of this post, or you can leave comments directly to Snakey and he can read them here on the blog. He is living in Flint Michigan and misses some of the the old gang. He needs our prayers and communications. Thanks and God Bless. [info submitted by Ruben DeLeon, San Antonio, TX and edited by RMT]
por: RMaxT at 12/12/2006
Good morning friends!
This morning my sister sent me this and I wanted to share it with each of you...
Blessings on you for your efforts and dedication in reaching out to those least noticed.
I hope you will take a 2 minute pause to slow down and play this when you are at a time when you can appreciate it.
por: RMaxT at 12/05/2006
You have new Picture Mail!
Originally uploaded by rmaxt.