Hark !

Publié le par Lucie

I do love a good Christmas carol, don't you? The joyful release of FIVE GOLDEN RINGS, the weird  words like "hark"  and "ding dong merrilly on high", the general surreal imagery of them... and the singing! Because listening to them is aweful, you need to sing to really embrace the spirit of xmas carols. I used to love it when we sang them in "collège"! Christmas carols are the epitome of cool, and that's that.

But I  was wondering today about the origin of the word "carol". Because "Christmas carol" translates as "chant de Noel" and "carol" sort of sounds Latin, and I wondered how come. I got my dictionnary out, but The Concise Oxford only said "unknow origin", so I asked our good friend Wikipedia an lo and behold! apparently a "carole" in Old French was a sort of circle dance (a "ronde", I suppose) with people singing, and it came from the latin "choraula" from which we also got "chorale" in French and "choir" in English. So there you go, don't you just love it when everything ties up like that ? Languages are so awesome.

There's a well-done site I found which has got the lyrics for all the major Christmas carols and songs and I think you can listen to them in midi but honestly I coudn't be asked. But they also have Christmas factoids up there, like that the first Xmas on the 25th of December dates back to the 4th century, and that 17% of people will end up embarassing themselves somehow at office Christmas parties. I thought it would have been more. Link here.

Right, I'm off to listen to Ol' blue eyes 's rendition of "Let it snow". Ahhh, Frank..


Une tradition au Royaume-Uni, et surtout aux USA, est de chanter à Noel des chansons plus ou moins religieuses, plus ou moins compréhensibles, et plus ou moins entraînantes. Y en a des vraiment géniales et je soutiens que les chants de Noel sont super "in". Ma préférée, en dehors de la fantastique "Twelve days of Christmas" c'est la très religieuse "Hark, the herald angel sings", juste parce qu'elle est jolie. Vous pouvez apprendre plein de choses sur les "Christmas carols" ici.

Mais en vrai j'écris cet article non pas pour vous vantez les mérites des chants de Noel mais bien parce que je me demandais d'où venait le très latin "carol" quand en français l'on parle de "chant de Noel". Le terme vient de l'Ancien Français "carole" une ronde où l'on dansait en chantant (et un buvant pas mal, j'imagine)  et lui-même vient du latin "choraula" qui a aussi donné "chorale". Chouette, non ?

Bon et pour ceux qui sont vraiment fâchés avec les chants de Noel, essayez ceux repris par Sinatra, parce que quand même !





Btw : hark [ha:k]

(intr; usually imperative) to listen; pay attention

[Old English heorcnian TO HEARKEN; related to Old Frisian herkia; Old High German horechen]

Collins Unabridged

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