Song

The Holly and The Ivy

Holly and Ivy carols date back to at least the middle ages. Holly is symbolic of men and Ivy of women and these carols were sung to reinforce the supremacy of one sex over another. In this version ‘the holly bears the crown’ but in other carols Ivy comes out on top. This tune is based on a traditional French one which I have altered and arranged.

Example of lyrics

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
The Holly bears a blossom as white as lily flower
And Mary bore sweet Jesus to be our sweet Saviour

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Song information

  • Mood:

    Sad haunting solo tune with driving powerful response

  • Technical:

    6/8 Solo verse with 4 part harmony response. 3 verses