12th Day of Christmas, 12 Days of Christmas Origin & Meaning Continued.

On the 10th Day of Christmas, AMERiders brings to you the 12 Days of Christmas and its Origin & Meaning Continued. We continue today with the 9th verse in the song. But before we do we want to thank everyone that shopped with us during our Winter Holiday Event.

To remind you the idea for these posts came to us because the boss loves the song and just loves to drive us nuts singing it. Yes, we’ve done the research and we know this starts on the 25th of December, but however you know that we at AMERIders are not normal so we are going to start this the 12 days before Christmas.  We apologize if what follows offends anyone it is not our intention just information that we found online.

Recap of Origin

In England, between 1558 and 1829, it was not legal for Catholics to practice their kind of Christianity in public or private. Being a Catholic was treated as a bad crime. If you even owned a Catholic Bible, you could be put in prison! Catholics were stopped from worshipping because King Henry VIII fell out with the Catholic Church and started his own ‘Protestant’ Church (what is now the Church of England). There were many people who were still Catholics and they worshiped in secret.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ was written in England at the beginning of this time. Some people think that it was written to help children learn about their Catholic religion. In the carol, the days are supposed to represent special symbols and have hidden meanings, because it was illegal to have anything in writing that would indicate that you were a Catholic.

But there’s NO evidence that this is true and it seems most likely just to be a folk song and that the special ‘Catholic’ meanings were added at a MUCH later date!

Variations of the lyrics

The earliest known version of the lyrics was published under the title “The Twelve Days of Christmas sung at King Pepin’s Ball”, as part of a 1780 children’s book, Mirth without Mischief. Subsequent versions have shown considerable variation:

-In the earliest versions, the word “On” is not present at the beginning of each verse—for example, the first verse begins simply “The first day of Christmas”. “On” was added in Austin’s 1909 version, and became very popular thereafter.

-In the early versions, “my true love sent” me the gifts. However, a 20th-century variant has “my true love gave to me”; this wording has become particularly common in North America.

-The 1780 version has “four colly birds”—”colly” being a regional English expression for “black”. This wording must have been opaque to many even in the 19th century: “canary birds”, “colored birds”, “curly birds”, and “Corley birds” are found in its place. Frederic Austin’s 1909 version, which introduced the now-standard melody, also altered the fourth day’s gift to four “calling” birds, and this variant has become the most popular, although “colly” is still found.

-The “five gold rings” may become “five golden rings”, especially in North America. In the standard melody, this change enables singers to fit one syllable per musical note.

-The gifts associated with the final four days are often reordered. For example, the Pipers may be on the ninth day rather than the eleventh.

Song verse explanation.

Also, all the symbols can be used by Protestants and other Christians, not just by Catholics! There was another song called ‘A New Dial’ (also called ‘In Those Twelve Days’), which goes back as far as at least 1625, which gave religious meanings to the 12 Days of Christmas, but NOT so people could practice their faith is secret. If you’d like to know more about this, please go to the 12 Days of Christmas page on snopes.com

12th Day of Christmas
The 12th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me twelve drummers drumming

On The 12th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ‘twelve drummers drumming’ were the twelve disciples of Jesus (They could also mean the twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed!)

This is also one of the days of verses where things can start to get mixed up depended on the year or origin that the verse is being sung from. More information on this can be found here.

Other information.

The 12 Days of Christmas are now most famous as a song about someone receiving lots of presents from their ‘true love’. However, to get to the song there had to be the days to start with!

The 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and last until the evening of the 5th January – also known as Twelfth Night. The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the middle ages and were a time of celebration.

Each of the 12 Days traditionally is celebrated with a feast day for a saint and/or have different celebrations: Day 12 (5th January also known as Epiphany Eve): St. John Neumann who was the first Bishop in American. He lived in the 19th century.

We hope you have enjoyed our 12 Days of Christmas informational, and have a great and safe holiday.

~And as always….

~Live Free Ride Hard~

12th Day of Christmas


Let AMERiders help you with your stocking stuffers and gifts for the 10th Day of Christmas.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

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