"Though some historians dispute the claim, others assert that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was a song written as a coded memory aid to help young Catholics learn the basiscs of their faith. According to the theory:pg 26. The curious world of Christmas: Celebrating All that Is Wierd, Wonderful and Festive. A Perigee Book, 2007.
The partridge in the pear tree is the Son of God
Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testament
Three French hens, faith, hope, and charity
Four calling birds, the four Gospels
Five golden rings, the first five books of the Old Testament (Pentateuch) chronicling Man's fall from grace
Six geese a'laying, the six days of creation
Seven swans a'swimming, seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and the seven sacraments
Eight maids a'milking, the eight Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount
Nine ladies dancing, nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
Ten lords a'leaping, Ten Commandments
Eleven pipers piping, eleven faithful apostles
Twelve drummers drumming, twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed.
Bizarre and weird all at the same time, but fascinating.