Carol

Carol
Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Stanzaic
Description: Carols started out as a form of singing circular folk dance. Plato inveighed against their ancestors, so there must be something good about them.
Carols do vary widely in form, especially these days, but back around the 15th century, they were more standardized.
A carol started out with a “burden” or short chorus. This was usually a rhymed couplet. That was followed by verses that were often short-lined quatrains with rhyme of bbba. The last lines of the quatrains were sometimes a foot or so shorter than the other three. The burden might appear as a chorus between verses, or it might be used as two refrains that appeared as the last line of the verses. There were many variations, but this covers the basics.
Schematic:
The pattern of burden and verse might look like this:

xxxxxxxa
xxxxxxxa

xxxxxxxb
xxxxxxxb
xxxxxxxb
xxxxxa
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 4

Pasted from http://www.poetrybase.info/forms/000/32.shtml
My Thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his work on the wonderful poetrybase resource.

 

The Carol Old French-carola-a ring dance accompanied by song, is a joyous hymn. Originally it was a medieval festive religious verse coming from the tradition of religious dance. The French Noël, is also a Carol, it is a “joyous song of nativity”. The French Carola and Noël are a thematic genre with the structure at the discretion of the poet, both predate the English Carol. The word Carol has become associated with Christmas and Easter because of its French origin and because the verse in England centered on celebrations that replaced the pagan winter and spring festivities. Today in America we often think of the Carol as any Christmas song.

The poetic pattern or stanzaic form recognized as the Carol fell into place sometime in 15th century England just about the same time that dance was being discouraged from the religious celebration. The clerics regarded dance as the survival of pagan influence and the lyrics of some of the earliest Carols seem to support that theory as they were often highly erotic.

• The Carol Texte or Burden is the couplet refrain that is repeated throughout the poem. It is the primary theme of the poem and in particular the refrain line of the Carol.

The Carol is
• metered or folk rhythm, most often trimeter or carrying 3 stresses. Whatever is used, it should be a running meter (lines the same length)
• stanzaic, made up of any number of quatrains alternating with a Carol Texte or Burden (rhyming couplet). There can be variations on stanza length but the quatrain is the most popular, the Burden always remains a couplet.
• written with an alternating refrain. The lines of the Carol Texte alternate as a refrain from quatrain to quatrain.
• rhymed, with a predominant rhyme scheme of A¹A², bbbA¹, cccA², dddA¹ and so on. There can be variation in rhyme scheme but mono rhyme is the most common.
• joyous.

Here is a variation of the Carol, combining the ancient and the modern. Here the “burden” is repeated intact between quatrains. Creating a rhyme scheme,
A¹A², bbba, A¹A², ccca A¹A², ddda, A¹A².

A Present for Both by Rex Allen Brewer 8-5-05

Lets turn the lights down low,
I like to do it slow.

I like to touch your skin,
I like the mood we’re in,
I like the way you grin,
I want you now, I know.

Lets turn the lights down low,
I like to do it slow.

I love to watch your face,
that smile when we embrace,
its classic style and grace,
cool lips and eyes that glow.

Lets turn the lights down low,
I like to do it slow.

I like to make you move,
and see you find your groove,
I hope that you approve,
hold tight, don’t let me go.

Lets turn the lights down low,
I like to do it slow.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=655#burden
My thanks to Judi Van Gorden for year of work on this fine PMO resource.

Since the above example in done in iambic trimeter, I’ll write mine according to the olde time specs.

My example

When the Nest is Full (Carol)

I like to play when we’re alone
and I can make you sigh and moan.

It used to be we had all day,
we were alone and we could play
most anywhere or any way
and wild the oats were sown.

I like to play when we’re alone
and I can make you sigh and moan.

Then children on the scene arrived
and though our urges still survived
of freedom now we’ve been deprived
by children of our own.

I like to play when we’re alone
and I can make you sigh and moan.

It seems to take appointments now
for me to bed my pretty frau.
We lock our door and sneak somehow
or frequently postpone.

I like to play when we’re alone
and I can make you sigh and moan.

We own a house- so how the hell
did we end up in some motel?
It’s your fault, you know very well,
for sighing on the phone.

I like to play when we’re alone
and I can make you sigh and moan.

© Lawrencealot – August 4, 2014

Visual Template of this Carol

Carol

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