Just over a week to go to Christmas, and churches will be preparing for their carol services. Technically, there is a difference between a Christmas carol and a Christmas hymn, but I’ve never been able to definitively put my finger on which is which. As a rule of thumb, I think that songs that tell a story – such as While Shepherds Watched or Good King Wenceslas – are probably carols while those that are more worship-based – such as Hark the Herald Angels and O Come All Ye Faithful – are probably hymns. There are also Easter carols, but let’s leave those for a few months.
Some carols/hymns I like more than others. The Holly and the Ivy, for example, has always struck me as a collection of rather tenuous links. [Read more…] about Christmas Carols old and new