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Know Britain Christmas Carols The Holly and the Ivy
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THE HOLLY AND THE IVY

 

This Christmas carol is different from the others in that it blends both pagan and Christian ideas, symbols and sentiments. The typically pagan symbols of holly and ivy are primitive symbols of the male and female. Also the image of the 'The rising of the sun' is clearly linked to paganism. It is thought that the words of the carol were originally associated with an ancient fertility dance.


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 wears the crown.


Chorus

O the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir
Sweet singing in the choir.

 

The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Saviour


Chorus

O the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir
Sweet singing in the choir.

 

The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good.


Chorus

O the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir
Sweet singing in the choir.

 

The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas day in the morn


Chorus

O the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir
Sweet singing in the choir.

The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all.


Chorus

O the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir
Sweet singing in the choir.

 

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly wears the crown.


Chorus

O the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir
Sweet singing in the choir.

 


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latest update: 29/03/04