I was aware that all the “gifts” mentioned in the song The Twelve Days Christmas were symbols to teach the Christian faith at a time when it could not be done openly. Below is a detailed explanation by Fr. Hal Stockert, Fishnet found in the EWTN website.
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written in England as one of the “catechism songs” to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith – a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in *writing* indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hanged, or shortened by a head – or hanged, drawn and quartered, a rather peculiar and ghastly punishment I’m not aware was ever practiced anywhere else.
Hanging, drawing and quartering involved hanging a person by the neck until they had almost, but not quite, suffocated to death; then the party was taken down from the gallows, and disembowelled while still alive; and while the entrails were still lying on the street, where the executioners stomped all over them, the victim was tied to four large farm horses, and literally torn into five parts – one to each limb and the remaining torso.
The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith.
The “true love” mentioned in the song doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The “me” who receives the presents refers to every baptized person.”
For explanation of each verse click on presentation below: