Troll the ancient yuletide carol
A few days ago I stumbled across a Christmas-themed quiz about misheard Christmas carol lyrics. I usually start listening to Christmas music (everything from choral to Mariah Carey to Run DMC) as soon as December starts, so I thought I’d give the quiz a go.
Some of the Christmas mondegreens were pretty entertaining, but I got stalled on one which I didn’t actually know the answer to: Troll the agents you’ll tie Carol…
After realising I didn’t know the first word to the line (the rest being ‘the ancient yuletide carol’), I guessed at toll (bells are quite Christmassy after all).
It turns out that the word is actually troll. Not the ugly guys who live under fairytale bridges, or the flourescent-haired naked ’80s toys, or a pesky internet lurker, of course. Back in times of yore, to troll meant ‘to sing or utter in a full, rolling voice’ and also ‘to sing in the manner of a round or catch’. Makes sense. There’s even another blog post about it (including some more explanation about Deck the Halls).
Since a lot of Christmas carols are traditional (meaning old), I guess we don’t think too hard about their meanings these days. I do find it fun to learn new (old) words, though, and am quite pleased to say that I knew what all the other correct lyrics were. Also, Dawn we now our day of peril is my new favourite mondegreen.