The Magic of Old Christmas Carols
The old Christmas carols embody the ideals of truly Christmas-themed
songs and espouse the sacredness and joyousness of the season
of the Nativity. The ideal Christmas song welcomes with harmony
in the very air the birth of the Christ child. Christmas carols
which used to be part of church services now become part of
the religious traditions as practiced in society in the community.
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There may be pagan roots in the very word carol which may
be derived from the French caroller which means dancing around
in a circle or from the Greek dance which was accompanied
by flute music and referred to as choraulein. This dancing
may be part of old magical rituals which may be a reason why
the English Protestants under Oliver Cromwell banned the practice
of old Christmas carols and nearly decimated the practice.
The practice became Christianized with the acts of charity
that come with caroling and gift-giving.
The more recent practices surrounding Santa Claus may be
irrelevant to old Christmas carols. This context may be
part of the tunes and ditties spread by wandering minstrels
in the Medieval Ages in Europe which include particular
repertoires for Christmastime. Another possible source for
old Christmas carols that is popular among the masses and
without or with less religious overtones are the songs of
the watchmen in the wee hours of the winter nights while
they patrol around the streets of medieval walled cities.
The spirit of charity and gift-giving in modern practices
bridge the modern practices with the older traditions. Christmas
carols are not such only because they are joyful and merry.
They fill the air with initiating energies of Christianity
The tradition of old Christmas carols dictate that they
should adhere to the Book of Luke in the New Testament.
This is no longer followed at the present except for the
old hymns of the Christmastime litanies or musical prayers.