Lost in Translation

Some things just don’t lend themselves to be modernised.

A case in point is the well-known Carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”.  We often sing the Kiwi version; “a Pukeko in a ponga tree…..”

But I was made aware of its origins just this week. Apparently when the Roman Catholics of England became isolated in King James reign, and were not allowed to practise their faith openly; this song became a sort of coded faith statement or catechism.

The True Love represents God, and the Me represents Christians

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.

The 2 turtledoves are the Old and New Testament.

The 3 French Hens stand for Faith, Hope, and Love.

The 4 Calling Birds are the Four Gospels.

The 5 Gold Rings recall the First Five Books of the OT.

The 6 Geese a-laying stand for the Six Days of Creation.

The 7 Swans a-swimming are the Seven Fold Gifts of the H/S.

The 8 Maids a-milking are the Eight Beatitudes.

The 9 Ladies dancing are the Nine Fruits of the Spirit.

The 10 Lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.

The 11 Pipers piping stand for the Eleven Faithfull Disciples.

And the 12 Drummers drumming? Well they represent the Twelve Points of Belief In the Apostles Creed!

And here we just thought it was a song, but back in history, without free speech, many continued to proclaim their faith.

Which begs the question: Do we?