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The twelve pointless prezzies

Updated on December 15, 2011
My mate couldn' make it, so you'll have to make do with just one of us.
My mate couldn' make it, so you'll have to make do with just one of us. | Source

Ever wondered what the hell that stupid Christmas Carol The Twelve Days Of Christmas is about?

No, me neither ....until now.

I figured that it was obviously written a long time ago as who the hell would give their lover a whole load of birds for Christmas, which is, after all what most of the prezzies seem to be?

By my count there are 23 of our feathered friends in this Christmas hamper which leads me to believe it would have to be a pretty large hamper – not to mention a smelly one – especially with seven swans crapping all over it.

It also occurred to me that it must date back to the days of slavery as a total of 50 people are also gifted, although this might be a misunderstanding on my part. Perhaps it was only their services that were given as I note that 23 of them are clearly musicians while the Lords and Ladies appear to be dancers of some kind. Just what the purpose of the maids-a-milking was I am unsure as there don’t seem to be any cows on the gift list.

The golden rings seem likely to be of more use, especially if they are pure gold or if one was made ‘to rule them all’. However aside from the ‘precious’ metals, the remainder of the gifts seem inappropriate in the 21st century. Not many places these days would have a pond large enough for seven swans and I think there would be complaints from the neighbours about the racket the six geese would make. French hens would probably not be allowed into the country for fear of a foot and mouth outbreak, which I always thought was a disease that only affected politicians. Or was that foot in mouth?

But there is a debate about what this song actually means. Some ‘conspiracy theorists’ reckon it was allegorical, although I am pretty certain it is English. However, the ones who think it comes from Allegory say it is a reference to the Bible in general and Catholicism in particular. You see this song was allegedly their bible and hymnal all rolled into one big bible/hymnal thing rather like that soldier who got caught playing cards in church.

Their story (and it certainly sounds like a tall one to me) is that the partridge is really Jesus Christ, but I can’t see it. I mean, have you ever seen a partridge wearing a white robe and sporting a beard? I don’t think so!

The rest of the story is equally incredible:

They think the two turtle doves are the Old and the New Testament. Presumably all those great little Christian homilies are hidden under the feathers. Yeah right!

The three French hens are supposed to be Faith, Hope and Charity, none of which are traits I would normally associate with either hens or the French.

The four calling birds is an interesting one, because they seem unsure as to whether they are the four gospels or the four evangelists. Given the first option is a body of lore or mythology depending on your point of view while the other would be four God botherers, it’s difficult to imagine how one could confuse them. Definitely a weak link in this particular chain of thought. Flush it!

The five golden rings are supposedly the first five books of the Old Testament or what we doctors (of divinity) call the Pentateuch, which is a fancy way of saying the first five books of the Old Testament. I always thought the five rings meant tickets to the Olympics or a new Volvo.

The six geese is said to be a reference to the six days of creation, which we all know took a lot longer than six days. This is obviously complete bollox given the number of geese that would be needed to symbolise that particular timeline.

The seven swans are in fact the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. I dunno about you, but I prefer my spirit with ice not pond algae, so I doubt there’s much truth to that one either.

The eight maids have been referred to as the eight beatitudes, but I reckon the perv that brought them into the picture was merely trying to cover up the fact he was trying to buy nookie.

The nine dancing ladies are supposed to symbolise the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t even realise the Holy Spirit was fruit bearing (perhaps it’s a liqueur?).

The ten Lords are meant to be the Ten Commandments, which could almost be believable as Lords are usually pretty fond of issuing commandments. However this apparent coincidence is hardly sufficient cause for the remainder of this fantasy to be believed.

The final two ‘gifts’; the eleven pipers piping (what else would they do?) and the twelve drummers drumming seem equally ludicrous. The pipers are supposed to be the eleven faithful apostles, although I would have thought the unfaithful one was the one who piped up when he shouldn’t. The twelve drummers are allegedly the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles’ Creed, but there has been a lot of percussion about that without any real contusions being reached.

If you want my opinion the ‘legend’ of the Twelve Days Of Christmas is just that; a legend. I reckon it’s just a story made up by some bloke who got yelled at for singing the bloody thing continuously and who was looking for some kind of justification for his annoying habit.

Anyway Merry Christmas and please don’t sing that bloody song when I’m about.


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