The Holly and the Ivy

Historians link the greenery of this song to medieval symbols of rivalry between males and females. Historically, holly was supposed to represent men, and the ivy, women.

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 organs,
sweet singing of the choir.

Additional Lyrics:
The holly bears a blossom,
As white as lily flow'r,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To be our Saviour.

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

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