On The Tenth Day of Christmas

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Ten Lords a Leaping

It is suggested that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was used by catholics, who were not permitted to practice their faith openly, to sing about their religion, with each element of the carol having a hidden religious meaning. According to this theory, the Ten Lords a Leaping, represents The Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments, along with the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer appear in the first book to be published in the Welsh language “Yn Y Lhyvr Hwnn” – literally ‘In This Book’ – which was the first sentence. It was published in 1546 and was the work of John Price of Brecon. Then in 1551 the Denbighshire scholar William Salesbury published a Welsh translation of the main texts of the Prayer Book, followed by a publication of the first Welsh translation of the complete Bible in 1558 by William Morgan

Between 1546 and 1660, 108 books were published in the Welsh language. Though a tiny number compared with those published in English or French, it was considerable compared with publications in other Celtic languages. In that period, only four books were published in Scottish Gaelic and only eleven in Irish.

The full list of suggested hidden meanings in the carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”;

* The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

* Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments

* Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

* The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

* The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

* The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

* Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit – Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

* The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

* Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

* The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

* The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

* The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So now you know ~smiles~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

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