The holly and the ivy

The holly and the ivy. Traditional English carol, collected and arranged by Cecil Sharp* (1859-1924). This is a carol rather than a hymn, but its appearance in a number of hymnbooks (CP, AHB, the English Hymnal Service Book, ICH5 (2000), and others) justifies its inclusion. Its date is unknown, but certainly before the early 18th century, and it may be medieval (though it is not in Richard Leighton Greene’s The Early English Carols). The most common form in which it is found in hymn books is the version by Cecil Sharp* in The Oxford Book of Carols (1928), collected from a Mrs Clayton at Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire, ca. 1911, supplemented by words from a Mrs Wyatt, East Harptree,...

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