The Holly and The Ivy, an Old English Christmas Carol

Sharon Lathan

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga, a ten-volume sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

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alice p. cannon

My husband and I were just wondering about the origins of this song and your blogpost is wonderful- thank you and happy holidays!


I love Christmas Carols! Going to the candlelight Carol service was one of my favourite parts of Christmas! I was in the German choir at school and we sang Oh Tannenbaum and Stille Nacht, in fact I still tend to sing the German words to Silent Night 55 years later!

Judy Buckley

I remember carols round the piano in the 1950s with my grandmother playing a lovely version of the Holly and the Ivy from a book presented to her aunt (daughter of a piano-forte maker, who taught music) in 1871. I’ll try and attach some pictures! Oh, I’m only allowed one! I could add a picture of the book and the presentation painting on the foreleaf.

Judy Buckley

This is the same aunt Rhoda when she was a baby in 1849.

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