The song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is an English Christmas carol that was initially published in 1780 without music. It is a cumulative song with each round of singing adding one more verse for each day of Christmas. The song represents much more than a cheerful Christmas song. Hidden inside the lyrics are secret meanings that represent 12 elements of Christian theology. For example, in the lyric:
“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”
true love represents Jesus Christ.
Do you know the secret meanings for all 12 days? Follow the blog, as the hidden meaning will be revealed on each day of Christmas.
A popular legend about the song, is that it was used by Roman Catholics in in England for a period of time, when they could not openly practice their faith, as a way to teach children key concepts about Christianity. It is a charming legend, but it is unclear whether or not it is true.
The Oregon Episcopal School has adopted this songs as the grand finale to their annual St. Nick’s Chapel which wraps up several weeks of service events and music concerts that celebrate our shared Episcopal traditions of doing good works and responding to the needs of the world.