Music playing is
"Silent Night"
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories beam from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing hallelujah
Christ the Savior is born
Christ the Savior is born
The word "carol" is derived from the old French word caroller, which means dancing around  
in a circle. It was derived from the Latin choraula, which in turn was derived from the Greek
choraules. Choraules was also translated as a Greek dance called a choraulein, which
means
"to dance to a flute". The dance later spread throughout Europe and became
especially popular with the French, who replaced the flute music with singing.

Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with bringing carols into the formal worship of the church
during a Christmas Midnight Mass in a cave in Greccio, in the province of Umbria in 1223.
As patron of the arts, he inspired the composers and poets of the day to deliver Christmas
music.

The lighter joyous Christmas songs were introduced many years later in Renaissance Italy -
the 1400s. The earliest known copy of an English carol was written by Ritson about 1410.
Throughout the years, monks also contributed significantly in composing
music themes
from the Bible
.  By the 1600's, carols involved singing only, and Christmas had become the
main holiday for these songs. In 1649, John de Brebeur wrote the first American Christmas
carol, called Jesus is Born.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith
openly. Someone during that era wrote, what we know as the
"Twelve Days of Christmas",
as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning; the surface meaning,
plus a
hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol
has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember.

1.   The
partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
2.   
Two turtledoves were the Old and New Testaments.
3.   
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
4.   The
four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
5.   The
five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old
Testament.
6.   The
six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
7.   
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophecy,
Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.      
8.   The
eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
9.   
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience,
Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.
10. The
ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
11.
Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
12.
Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles'
Creed.

Most of the carols sung today were originally composed in the 1700's and 1800's.
"O Holy
Night"
was introduced at midnight Mass in 1847. Adolphe Adam, a French composer, wrote
the music.
“It Came Upon The Midnight Clear” was written in 1849 by Edmund Hamilton
Sears. The score was provided the next year by Richard Storrs Willis, a New York organist.
In 1865, after a trip to the Holy Land, Rector Phillips Brooks wrote the words to
“O Little
Town of Bethlehem”
. Three years later, Lewis Redner wrote the score. The words of the
famous carol
"Silent Night" were written on Christmas Eve in 1818 by Joseph Mohr, an
Austrian priest. Franz Gruber, the organist of Mohr's church, composed the music that same
night, and the carol was sung at midnight Mass.