What is a Carol anyway?

• 2m to read •
In this blog post, we will explore the history of the word carol and find out where it came from. We will also take a look at how the word is used today, and why so many people associate it with Christmas music.
What is a Carol anyway? Discover the history of the word carol and how it relates to Christmas | Love to Sing

What is a carol, anyway? The word has been around for centuries, and it has been used to describe all sorts of songs - not just Christmas songs! In this blog post, we will explore the history of the word carol and find out where it came from. We will also take a look at how the word is used today, and why so many people associate it with Christmas music. Are you ready to learn more about carols? Let's get started!

Where does the word carol come from?

The word "carol" actually has a very long history. It comes from the Old French word "carole", which itself comes from the Latin word "choraula". This Latin word was used to describe a type of circle dance that was popular in ancient Rome. The word "choraula" eventually made its way into Old English, where it became "carol".

Over time, the meaning of the word "carol" changed. It came to refer to any type of dance or celebration that was accompanied by music. This is how the word was used when it first appeared in English literature in the 14th century. In Chaucer's famous work The Canterbury Tales, for instance, he describes a group of people "carolling" together.





How did it become associated with Christmas?

So, how did the word "carol" come to be associated with Christmas songs? In the Middle Ages, people would sing all sorts of songs during the Christmas season - not just religious songs, but also secular tunes and even bawdy drinking songs! These Christmas songs were commonly known as "waits carols" because they were originally played by the town Waits. According to Wikipedia, "their duties varied from time to time and place to place, but included playing their instruments through the town at night, waking the townsfolk on dark winter mornings by playing under their windows, welcoming Royal visitors by playing at the town gates, and leading the Mayor's procession on civic occasions."

By the Victorian era, carols were a well-established part of Christmas tradition in England. Carols were usually sung in public places like churches or town squares, and they often had a religious message. It wasn't until the 20th century that the word "carol" eventually came to be used specifically for Christmas songs. 

Today, the word "carol" is used to describe all sorts of Christmas songs, both religious and secular. Whether you're singing about reindeer or baby Jesus, if it's a Christmas song, it's probably a carol!

So, what is a carol?

A carol is a type of song that has been around for centuries, and it can be used to describe all sorts of different tunes. Christmas carols are a beloved tradition all over the world, and they show no signs of disappearing anytime soon. Whether you're singing them in your living room or a crowded church, carols are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit! They have no particular rhythm or tune, it is simply a word used generally to describe the type of song. The word carol is simply a name. The most important thing is to sing at the top of your lungs and enjoy yourself!

Do you have a favorite carol? Share it in the comments below! And if you're looking for some festive tunes to sing this holiday season, be sure to check out our list of the best Christmas carols of all time. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Check out some of our favorite Christmas carols below:

  1. Silent Night

  2. Joy to the World

  3. O Holy Night

  4. Away in a Manger

  5. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Subscribe to our Christmas Club and get a free song!

Popular reading

Subscribe to our Christmas Club and get a free song!