Carol actually comes from the french word ‘carole’. It was originally used to describe a dance with a song. It has only been associated with religion since the 1300s. Many carols were written between 1400 and 1650. But in 1650 they were banned by the Puritans. Carols became something which were sung and passed on by ordinary people and those who lived in the countryside. The Victorians rediscovered them and they became popular again.
It’s amazing to think that “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” has been sung for 262 years.