I don’t remember if the subject ever came up when I was a kid in grade school music classes during Christmas time, but it’s always worth noting how old many of our traditional Christmas carols are. In fact, the concept of the carol, being a festive song often accompanied by a dance and not necessarily connected to a specific holiday or religious festival, is itself almost a thousand years old. In our Christmas music we can find the most familiar remaining vestiges of our musical heritage from hundreds of years past. Here’s a carol, still very much alive, that is first recorded as emerging in the Provence region of France four hundred years ago.
(It’s also my mother’s favorite, which is absolutely why I run it every year!)