The Story Behind: The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Story Behind: The Twelve Days of Christmas

I remember trying to learn all the verses of the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” as a child and always getting confused by all the birds and the different people. Which came first, the swans or the geese? Who danced or who piped or who drummed and what was their order? I could only sing “five golden rings” with any confidence. I would always have to have the lyrics in front of me or I would get all mixed up and forget which number I was supposed to be singing about. I also remember wondering why the man was buying such weird gifts for his girlfriend. Who would want a bunch of birds for Christmas and where would all those people live? Who knew that the song was a subversive ditty that was really teaching about the Catholic faith in a time when people were being killed for following a different religion than the official one? So here’s the real story behind the song. Continue reading “The Story Behind: The Twelve Days of Christmas”