Four calling birds

As the fourth day of Christmas this the day that the true love gave four calling birds… or were they colley birds or collie birds which may have been blackbirds, or canary birds, or maybe collared doves? Who now knows? Apparently it is bunkum that the gifts have some Christian connotations, starting with True Love being God (no mention of what the partridge or the pear tree might signify) and going through old and new testament, faith hope and charity to the four – gospels or evangelists of course, to the twelve drummers drumming being the apostles creed.

It’s probably just a jolly Christmas song, first noted in the eighteenth century but probably older, and the word colley is connected to coal, therefore black, therefore black birds!


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