The Holly and the Ivy

DSCF5749Holly (this growing on our spread) – a most fallen plant by Genesis literalist standards, being both poisonous (like the ivy, in fact) and thorny. But it is undiminished, nevertheless, in its Christmas appeal and the allegorical lessons to be learned from the English folk carol first published in the early nineteenth century. And so it’s clearly an integral part of Christ’s good Creation. Have a good Christmas all – we’ll be back soon.

1 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 organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

2
The holly bears a blossom,
As white as the lily flower,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To be our sweet Saviour.
The rising of the sun, etc.

3
The holly bears a berry,
As red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to do us sinners good.
The rising of the sun, etc.

4
The holly bears a prickle,
As sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas Day in the morn.
The rising of the sun, etc.

5
The holly bears a bark,
As bitter as any gall,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all.
The rising of the sun, etc.

6
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, etc.

ivy

Jon Garvey

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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4 Responses to The Holly and the Ivy

  1. Stuart Kaye Stuart Kaye says:

    And every Christmas blessings to you and yours Jon. In New Zealand we have our own Christmas tree, the Pohutukawa, which lines many of our beaches, clinging obstinately to cliffs above the sands, and blooming in riotous red blossom just before Christmas. I have tried to include a photo of them in this reply, without luck.
    Thank you for your regular post which forms part of the start of every day for me.

    • Jon Garvey Jon Garvey says:

      Thanks a lot for the encouragement, Stuart – it’s much appreciated. And give my regards to your wonderful country – I was there with my wife and daughter 10 years or so ago… wasn’t aware of the Pohutukawa, but I’ll look it up!

  2. pngarrison says:

    Merry Christmas, Jon. Here’s a couple of Christmas songs, one traditional and one non-traditional Christmas song that I like.

    In the Bleak Midwinter
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bGKao5GfQU
    Miracle
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBeEeheQbfM

  3. Jon Garvey Jon Garvey says:

    Thanks Preston – same to you.

    I’m not glued to screen on Christmas day, honest – just a lull picking up messages before breakfast and family fest for remainder of day!

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