O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

The Holly and the Ivy

Branchberry

The version  of the Holly and the Ivy

that we are familiar with today was first

published by Cecil Sharp. The Holly and the Ivy

is thought to have Pagan origins and could therefore

date back over 1000 years. It is most unusual for

a carol like the Holly and the Ivy to have survived over

the years especially during the stern protestant

period of the 17th century. The Holly and the Ivy

have always been taken indoors during the winter

the hope being that the occupants would survive difficult

conditions just like the hardy Holly and the Ivy.

The colours of the Holly and Ivy, green and red

are traditionally associated with Christmas.

The author and composer of the Holly and the Ivy are unknown.

 

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Saviour
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas Day in the morn.
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all.
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly and the ivy
Now both are full well grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir 

 

 

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