CHRISTMAS CAROLS
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It's time to sing, “I will honor Christmas in my heart , and try to keep it all the year..” .Carols remind us – here is Christmas again! .We can ask in tunes “Isn't there anybody who knows what Christmas is all about?”

It is interesting to note that carols had nothing to do with the birth of Christ in the past. They were actually secular dances which used to take place at any point of the year .The scene reminded of “coronet” and from there we get “carols”. It was from 16th century onwards they came to be known as songs at the time of Christmas. So , carols are no more dances but religious hymns.

People around the world are so engrossed in listening to carols that they sometimes forget to ask a very interesting question “Why do we sing carols?”. One can get the answer in the story about the birth of Jesus. The idea of singing carols came from the songs the angels sang when they met the shepherds to give the news of Christ's birth. This history makes it clear why carols tell the story of the birth of the Christ.

In 13th century carols were communal songs but later on they got associated with church and Christmas. They involve a performance of the choric singers. “ Personent ho die” and “Angels” were popular Middle English carols .But it lost its popularity after Reformation. Arthur Sullivan revived the essence of Christmas songs with “It came upon a midnight clear”.

England , Poland , Bulgaria perform the tradition of “wassailing”, in which groups of singers travel from house to house . They sing songs and common people reward them with money or mince pies and even with a glass of an appropriate drink. All the money that is collected is given to charity.

' Carols by Candlelight ' concerts rock the Australian city nights . Opera singers in Melbourne are quite famous for Christmas songs.

A study shows that gradually carols are becoming secular once again. Christmas songs are no more solely sung by Bishops and clergy but now by bands. Though the dictionary meaning of carols is ‘joyful religious song celebrating the birth of Christ' yet they are now played on musical instruments and people around the world cannot stop themselves from enjoying the compositions and modern musical arrangements of Salvation Army Brass Bands. Carols are getting popular day by day through the medium of on line greeting cards.

Dickens can never be forgotten when an analysis is carried out on Christmas and its songs. 'A Christmas Carol ' is perhaps the best writing which conveys the essence of the same. Scrooge is the apt example for all Christians who need to understand what Christmas spirit is all about. One can only appreciate carols if he is a true Christian.

But modern scenario is different. It sounds peculiar to note that carols are still so popular in The main reason is -the songs are not just religious but lyrics arranged in excellent tunes. Here lies the universality of Christmas songs.

Carols purify our souls and this the time we really feel to be the blessed children of God. But the spirit invites all to participate in the tunes irrespective of the religions. Modern study shows – musicians around the world are interested to experiment with carol tunes. The question that may crop up at this juncture is – will carols be again secular music ?

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