The tradition of Christmas carols dates back as far as the thirteenth century, although carols were originally communal songs sung during
celebrations like harvest tide as well as Christmas. It was only later that carols began to be sung in church, and to be specifically
associated with Christmas.
Traditionally, carols have often been based on medieval chord patterns, and it is this that gives them their uniquely characteristic musical sound.
Some carols can be traced directly back to the Middle Ages, and are among the oldest musical compositions still regularly sung.