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The holly and the ivy

The holly and the ivy


The holly and the ivy are two symbols that were always intertwined with the solstice rituals and later with the Christmas celebrations. The holly was sacred to druids and associated with the god Saturn by the Romans. The ivy is a symbol of eternity.

It is also assumed that the symbolysm in this Carol relates to ancient fertility mythology: the male is therefore associated to the holly and the good, whilst the female is associated to the ivy and the evil.

The first verse of the song and the refrain:

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 in the choir.

Go to the next song on the Album Tidings of comfort and joy!