The Holly and

The Ivy

 


a Re-Heathenized Traditional Yuletide Carol

 

Note: this  song, in its Christianized form, was sung at the Lexington Unitarian Universalist Church in December 1999. The following comments were printed on the songsheet: "In early times, when reference was made in song or verse to 'holly' or 'ivy,' the meaning was symbolic: holly stood for the male, ivy for the female." This commentary, plus the reference to the Sun and deer, made it clear to me that the song should be Re-Heathenized as a Frey and Freya song appropriate for the Winter Solstice. Please see my article on the Rune Elhaz linked from "Rune-of-the-Month Club" on my main page for more information. If anyone knows of other verses, please e-mail them to me. Those interested in publishing or recording it, please contact me. Thanks!

 

"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 toasting of Njordh's Children, the Boar's Head on the plate."

 

Further notes: Njordh is the father of Frey and Freya, both of whom ride a golden boar. The line replaced in the Re-Heathenization process was the last one, which in the Christian version went: "The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir." Personally, while I have nothing against organs and choirs; I'd much prefer the "Lord" and "Lady" (the meanings of "Frey" and "Freya") and the Boar's Head!

 

Jordsvin

 


Created by Chandonn and Jordsvin

all works used by permission of the authors

last modified 07/22/2003