O The Holy Holly

This was written down in 1916 by Thomas Miners of Camborne in Cornwall, who heard it from Mr Landry of Callington: he had learnt it ‘some years before’ in nearby Bodmin. It’s a mix of a version of The Cherry Tree and The Holly and the Ivy. Songs were often put together in this mix-and-match way in order to make a new song out of existing popular ballads. The source is The Journal of the English Folk Song Society 1916, where sadly it has no original tune.