A carol is a festive song. It is generally religious but not necessarily connected with church worship. It is also often with a dance-like or popular character.
Today the carol is represented almost by the Christmas carol, the Advent carol, and to a much lesser extent by the Easter carol, however despite their present association with religion, this has not always been the case.
History[change | change source]
The word carol is thought to have been derived from the French word caroller. That was a circle dance accompanied by singers (in turn derived from the Latin choraula). The carol was very popular as a dance song from the 1150s to the 1350s. That was after which its use expanded as a processional song sung during festivals. That was while others were written to accompany religious mystery plays (such as the Coventry Carol, written in 1591).