It’s that time of year, the time of hats and gloves, candy canes and hot chocolate, and best of all Christmas carols! In most cases, the repeated cycle of Christmas songs will soon be hitting the radio waves, and with this comes the inevitable question of… “What the heck are the songs talking about?”
It was in the 16th century–that’s 500 years ago–when many of the popular carols we sing today, such as “O Christmas Tree” and “12 Days of Christmas,” were made! For years, people have questioned the meaning behind famous Christmas song lyrics such as “Bells on bob-tail ring/Making Spirits Bright” (a bob-tail is the docked tail of a horse so this line means that the bells put on the shortened tail of a horse brings joy to all those that hear the jingle of the bells on the tail), and “Deck the Halls” (this phrase means to decorate a room with holiday-themed ornaments in the spirit of the holidays), to “See the blazing yule before us” (the feast of the winter solstice, where logs were burned for light and warmth). These lyrics are an enigma with their odd phrasing and unfamiliar words, so we’re here to illuminate the meaning behind one of these classics.