The definition of a Christmas Carol
Ursula asked was “The Twelve Days of Christmas” part of the Christmas Carol tradition and I was a little bit dismissive of that idea and I have to say I was wrong.
Wikipedia in its article on the Christmas Carol tradition is more inclusive and I think rightly so.
The word carol has an interesting origins – where it has meant over the years:
- dancing in a ring
- the song you sang while dancing in a ring
- the song sung to accompany the merriment
- and finally a joyful song especially for Christmas.
It can also be used as a verb as well meaning to sing joyfully – this use of the word is in my experience limited.
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Every year there is the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge is broadcast by the BBC and you can find out more details at this website including the service sheet for the event.
It is broadcast at 15:00 (16:00 German time) on BBC World Service and can be listened to on the Internet.
Here is a fragment from a television programme made and broadcast on television using the same singers and chapel:
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!