The 13th century saw the rise of the carol written in the vernacular, under the influence of Francis of Assisi.
In the Middle Ages, the English combined circle dances with singing and called them carols.
The first Christmas songs associated with Saint Nicholas or other gift-bringers also came during 19th century, including "Up on the Housetop" and "Jolly Old St. Many older Christmas hymns were also translated or had lyrics added to them during this period, particularly in 1871 when John Stainer published a widely influential collection entitled "Christmas Carols New & Old".
Few notable carols were produced from the beginning of the 20th century until the Great Depression era of the 1930s, when a stream of songs of often American origin were published, most of which did not explicitly reference the Christian nature of the holiday, but rather the more secular traditional Western themes and customs associated with Christmas.
This is in part due to the efforts of amateur choral societies during the nineteenth century.
For similar terms, see Christmas Album (disambiguation).
For the Mel Tormé composition, see The Christmas Song. For other uses, see Christmas Song (disambiguation) and Christmas Songs (disambiguation).
Since the dawn of the rock era in the mid-1950s, much of the Christmas music produced for popular audiences has had explicitly romantic overtones, only using Christmas as a setting.
Exceptions such as "The Christmas Shoes" (2000) have re-introduced Christian themes as complementary to the secular Western themes, and a plethora of traditional carol cover versions by various artists have explored virtually all music genres.
The new liturgy produced for the English church recognised this in 1645, and so legally abolished Christmas.