Mudcat Café message #2493555 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116157   Message #2493555
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
14-Nov-08 - 06:44 AM
Thread Name: Pagan Songs
Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOLLY AND THE IVY
that all the surviving traditional carols were originally pagan

Actually, I'm guilty in this respect too, having once reset The Holly and the Ivy to the tune of Searching for Lambs and, if not paganised the words, then attempted a more ceremonial approach in terms of a certain understanding of folklore:

The Holly and the Ivy,
Now that they are full grown,
of all the trees that are in the wood,
The Holly bears the crown.

The rising of the winter sun,
the running of the dear,
The Holy seed of the mistletoe
in the dawning of the year

The holly bears a sharp prickle,
As sharp as any thorn,
And the wren's heard pierced
In the darkest night,
Is healed before the dawn.

In Winter time I danced alone,
And felt the growing cold
And lighting fires from fallen trees
I warmed my dying soul*

I saw the sun reborn again
Melt through the winter snow
And drank afresh from holy streams
swollen with the thaw.


I forget the rest, perhaps thankfully. Mind you, that was over twenty years back when such things appealed to my darkly rural sensibilities and pagan was my default state of mind.

* This verse features on the cover of the 2000 Psychedelic Pig American CD re-issue of the Masstishaddhu : Shekinah LP Mike Watson, Richard Rupenus & I recorded for United Dairies in 1988 - not a million miles from Shibboleth (& featuring the same hurdy-gurdy, though once again rather low in the mix!) it's one that no self-respecting pagan should be without...