THE HOLLY AND THE IVY

 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 

The Holly and the Ivy” is a traditional British folk Christmas carol. The song is catalogued as Roud Folk Song Index No. 514. The above current words and melody are taken from Sharp’s English Folk-Carols (1911).

The Holly and the Ivy dates back to the 17th Century. The holly and ivy were found in Christmas church decorations as early as the fifteenth century. Their use occurred earlier among the Romans and the Druids, and among the early Christians, after the ascension of Jesus Christ. During the summer, the berries of the holly are green. When the dead of winter comes round, the berries turn a bright crimson red, only to last for a few months. The song is also two songs in one:  The Birth of the Christ Child – Christmas, and the Death of the Saviour – Crucifixion. The holly’s thorns represented Christ’s crown of thorns; the bark, represented the bitter gall given him by Roman soldiers, and the red berries represented his blood that he shed to save the world, and the green leaves represent life eternal.

The refrain “The rising of the sun,” also has a double meaning:  “The rising of the Sun(Son[Jesus at the Ascension]). 

The colors of the Holly, red and green, and the Ivy, green leaves and white blooms, are traditionally associated with Christmas. 

The author of this lovely song is unknown.

Natalie Cole sings by far the best and most beautiful version of this song.

Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

Ilex-aquifolium (Europaeische Stechpalme-1.jpg
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Variegated-ivy.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s