List of Traditional Christmas Carols & History

List of Traditional Christmas Carols & History

Christmas carol is a song or a hymn whose lyrics are based on the theme of Christmas, or the season of winter in general. The lyrics of a Christmas carol are based on the theme of Christmas or the winter season in general. It is also called a noel. These songs are traditionally sung before the Christmas. In the thirteenth century carols were sung during celebration like harvest tide as well as Christmas. Later it began to be sung in the church, specifically related with Christmas.

Common Christmas Carols

Some of the most common Christmas carols are as follows:

  • Ding dong merrily on high
  • God rest ye merry gentlemen
  • Christmas tree carol
  • Silent night carol
  • The first noel carol
  • Good Christian men rejoice

Case study: Christmas carols are based on Christian lyrics. Christmas carols generally have Christian lyrics. The word carol is a derived word from French word caroler, which means dancing around in a circle. In the fifteenth century the carols were popular religious songs.

About Christmas Carols History

In olden times carols had strong tunes. Some of the oldest carols are:

  • God rest you merry, gentlemen
  • The first noel
  • I saw three ships come sailing in
  • Hark the herald angels sing

These all carols made their first appearance in the "Christmas carols ancient and modern" (1833) by William B. Sandys.

Case Study

Most of the Christmas songs and Christmas carols sounds same it is very difficult to distinguish the difference between the two. But the real meaning or the definition of the carol is "a religious song which is purely associated with the Christmas."

Traditional Christmas Carols

In the 19th century all the popular carols were not sung in the church. Some of the carols which were taken for Hymns Ancient and Modern 1861 - 1874 were as follows:

  • Come all ye faithful
  • Silent night
  • Once in royal David's city
  • The first noel
  • Hark the herald angels sing
  • little town of Bethlehem
  • Away in a manger

Case Study

All these carols are noted as traditional songs. This clarifies that these songs will be sung outside not in the church. The singing of carols in the church started in 1880. These carols can be sung alone or by individual singer, but are often sung by larger groups. Most of the churches have special service at which carols are sung. Carols are sung in churches when they have services.

Christmas Carols For Dance

It is yet not clear that whether carol is a derivative word from French word "carol" or the Latin word "carula" which means a circular dance. Few writers like Louis-Claude Daquin, marc-Antoine Charpentier etc wrote instrumental versions for these carols or Noels.

Traditional Christmas Carols

As it is much clear that carols is nothing, but religious songs which are mainly nowadays sung during the time of Christmas. Some of the traditional carols are as follows:

  • We three kings of orient are
  • I heard the bells on Christmas day
  • holy night
  • Joy to the world
  • Do you hear what I hear
  • Angels we have heard on high
  • Carol of the bells
  • Christ is born in Bethlehem
  • Breath of heaven

In the beginning, carols were not related to the birth of the Christ. Actually, it was a secular dance which can take place any time in the year on any occasion. From 16th century carols were known as Christmas songs, now they were no more dances but religious songs. The story behind these carols are when Christ was born , angels brought this news to the shepherds. And this idea clears that carols tell the story about the Christ birth.

Case Study

In the 13th century carols were communal songs. But later on they got associated with Christmas and church. Carols used to be communal songs in the early 13th century which later got associated with christmas and church. Two of the most popular Middle English carols were:

  • Personent ho die
  • Angels

Gradually carols are becoming secular again. In the modern scenario carols are still famous. Not because of the religious factor, but the lyrics arranged in the beautiful tunes.