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 theory that it originated as an "underground catechism song" for oppressed Catholics appears to be quite modern, however.
It was first proposed by Canadian English teacher and part-time hymnologist Hugh D. McKellar expanded on the idea in a monograph for the scholarly journal The Hymn in Hal Stockert, who summarized the theory in an article he wrote in and posted online in Unlike McKellar, who cited no sources and said his first intimations of a hidden meaning in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" came from personal conversations with elderly Canadians with roots in northern England, Stockert claimed he had happened upon the information in "primary documents," including "letters from Irish priests, mostly Jesuits, writing back to the motherhouse at Douai-Rheims, in France, mentioning this purely as an aside.
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" Lyrics, Old and New
The theory has found little support among historians, who dispute not only the interpretation but the premises underlying it. This is frothy, light and frothy. Indeed, virtually every historical source going back years classifies "The Twelve Days of Christmas" as a "counting rhyme" for children. This accumulative process is a favorite with children; in early writers, such as Homer, the repetition of messages, etc.
The scene is a family gathering on Christmas Eve:.
The third day of Christmas my true love sent to me three fat hens, two turtle-doves, a partridge, and a pear-tree;. The fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me four ducks quacking, three fat hens, two turtle-doves, a partridge, and a pear-tree;.
The fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me five hares running, four ducks quacking, three fat hens, two turtle-doves, a partridge, and a pear-tree. And so on.
Each day was taken up and repeated all round; and for every breakdown except by little Maggie, who struggled with desperately earnest round eyes to follow the rest correctly, but with very comical results , the player who made the slip was duly noted down by Mabel for a forfeit.
Far from finding any religious significance in "The Twelve Days of Christmas," some scholars, including University of Massachusetts classics professor Edward Phinney, argue that it's first and foremost a love song. Some of them are rather impossible to give, like eight maids a milking and nine ladies dancing.
All those ladies and dancing and pipers and drums imply this is a wedding. An arrangement for the chant was composed by English composer Frederic Austin in , who first introduced the now familiar prolongation of the verse "five gold rings". Misheard Lyric.
- ALMOST GONE.
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I've heard it's actually Colly Birds. Try singing the twelvth day really fast in a colombian spanish accent. That is the most important thing to your mate.
THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (12 Days of Christmas) lyrics ***
This song is so great, I sing it over and over even when it isn't Christmas. I think they mean that they are trying to reinforce The 12 days of Christmas. Why is this person giving their loved ones so many birds?