one hears in the song is not a smitten boy or
girlfriend but Jesus Christ, because truly Love was born on Christmas
Day. The partridge in the pear tree also represents Him because that
bird is willing to sacrifice its life if necessary to protect its young
by feigning injury to draw away predators.
Ball in her book, HANDBOOK
OF CATHOLIC SACRAMENTALS:
The two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments
The three French hens stood for faith, hope, and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The five golden rings rerepresented the first five books of the Old Testament, which describe man's fall into sin and the great love of God in sending a Savior.
The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit-----Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-----Charity,
Joy, Peace, Patience [Forbearance], Goodness [Kindness], Mildness,
Fidelity, Modesty, Continency [Chastity].
The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Apostles.
The twelve drummers
drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The Apostles' Creed.
Source: Fr. Calvin
Goodwin, FSSP, Nebraska