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Sunday, December 21, A.D. 2008
The Holly and the Ivy

Another of my favorite English carols is “The Holly and the Ivy”—the roots of which reach pagan times. Here is King’s College Chapel, Cambridge:

[The original but now defunct video was of Winchester Cathedral.] Like most English cathedrals, Winchester Cathedral is quite lovely. Jane Austen is buried there.

The lyrics are . . .

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.

Oh, the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer.
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the quire.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Posted by Joseph on Sunday, December 21, Anno Domini 2008
Music | Folk MusicSacred MusicComments
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