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  1. #1

    Default A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you

    There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

    From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. 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 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 symbolised the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

    So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol...so pass it on if you wish.
    It is better to wear out than to rust out.
    - Richard Chamberlain, Tour of the Hebrides

    Us husbands are a sorry lot.

    Visit the Radio Reading Service: www.radioreading.org.nz

  2. #2
    The Zeditor (Admin)
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    Default Re: A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you


  3. #3
    Lets play Metla's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you

    Luckily religion deals in faith, Not fact.

    So, they can make up and believe any fantasy they like.
    better Dredd then dead

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    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you

    Quote Originally Posted by Roscoe View Post
    There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?
    What do fir trees have to do with the (incorrect) birthdate of a mythical figure?

    What does Santa have to do with it?

    What do the cards have to do with it?

    What does eating certain foods have to do with it?

    Why give each other presents on this (incorrect) birthdate of the mythical figure? Do you give everyone else presents on your birthday? Or your mums?

    What does any of it matter......
    wipe your paws.

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you

    Quote Originally Posted by pctek View Post
    What does any of it matter......
    Just thought that you may find it interesting, that's all.
    It is better to wear out than to rust out.
    - Richard Chamberlain, Tour of the Hebrides

    Us husbands are a sorry lot.

    Visit the Radio Reading Service: www.radioreading.org.nz

  6. #6
    Retired old codger kenj's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you

    Thanks Roscoe... quite interesting and it brightened up my day.

    Ken
    Corgi Ben Kenobi.......Related by Corgi to the Queen

  7. #7
    Beautiful Antrim Coast Ulsterman's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you

    Quote Originally Posted by pctek View Post
    What do fir trees have to do with the (incorrect) birthdate of a mythical figure?

    What does Santa have to do with it?

    What do the cards have to do with it?

    What does eating certain foods have to do with it?

    Why give each other presents on this (incorrect) birthdate of the mythical figure? Do you give everyone else presents on your birthday? Or your mums?

    What does any of it matter......
    All these things that you mention are just traditions that have been built up over the years and these traditions are celebrated by believers and pagans alike. Mostly they are nice or fun things to do.

    So far as the birthdate being incorrect is concerned, the Bible does not give a birthdate so it is a topic that has been left to interpretation and debate. Early Christians did not bother to attempt to pinpoint the date of birth because they were more interested in deaths and feast days at that time.

    Church leaders decided, in the fourth century, that they needed a Christian celebration to compete with the solstice celebrations of the non believers. December 25th was an arbitrary decision and the first celebration of the Nativity was celebrated in Rome in 336AD.

    The carol says that shepherds 'watched their flocks by night' and they watched their flocks in the lambing season which means that the birthdate was more likely to have been in the springtime, not winter.

    But to most Christians the date is not important, so Christians do not argue that point. That Jesus was born is not in dispute - even the pagans must believe that he was born if they argue about the date he was born - and Christians are happy to celebrate his birth and that he came down from heaven to save mankind. That is their belief and exactly when that happened is not important,
    Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
    - Mark Twain.

  8. #8
    Soaring like an Eagle gary67's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you

    I have been ignoring Christmas and all other religious festivals for as long as I can remember, which is why I hate all the commercialisation that goes with them. However if you wish to buy me a present I won't complain but neither will I look for some hidden secret agenda on the behalf of the giver and if I choose to give someone a present it because I want to and not because some corporate body like churches have always been says I have to.

    You won't hear me arguing about anything related to religion because in my mind it doesn't exist and therefore is not worth arguing over

  9. #9

    Default Re: A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you

    Quote Originally Posted by gary67 View Post
    and if I choose to give someone a present it because I want to and not because some corporate body like churches have always been says I have to.
    I'm very certain that the churches do not say that you have to give presents. In fact, I don't think that anyone says that you have to. Most advertising is based on the fact that most people have accepted that you give a present or two at Christmas and so they say that you should buy your presents off them.

    I too, dislike all the commercialisation that goes with Christmas, but then the commercialisation is there most of the time. Corporations just use Christmas as a good excuse to sell their products as they do with other events as well. What about the Easter and the Anzac Day sales, just to mention a few.

    Perhaps the best idea is just to enjoy the peace and goodwill that goes with the holiday and relax and have a good time.

    For me, Christmas time is a time spent with family and friends in a convivial atmosphere and that is what I intend to do this year.

    I do hope, Gary, that you have a pleasant time over these holidays and that you are nicely relaxed and ready to start the New Year in a happy frame of mind.
    It is better to wear out than to rust out.
    - Richard Chamberlain, Tour of the Hebrides

    Us husbands are a sorry lot.

    Visit the Radio Reading Service: www.radioreading.org.nz

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: A Partidge in a Pear Tree - a meaning that will interest you

    Speaking of interest, don't put it on your credit card "The 12 Days of Christmas? That'll Cost You a Record $101,119.84" http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...-11984/249711/

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