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Our Favourite Christmas Carols & Songs – The Holly and the Ivy

carollers2The version we of the Holly and the Ivy that we sing today was first published by Cecil Sharp although the author and the composer remain unknown

It is thought that the symbolism of the carol relates to ancient fertility mythology and the association of the male with holly and good and the female with ivy and evil. The red of the Holly berries and the green of the Ivy are traditionally associated with Christmas.

Download The Holly and the Ivy to your MP3 player

The Holly and the Ivy : Lyrics

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

If you enjoy singing along with your favourite Christmas carols and songs, you can find the lyrics to all fifteen of our favourites by clicking here

Why not print this Christmas carol out and have a sing-a-long with friends and family.

What is your favourite Xmas song? Share your comments below!

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