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I'm still puzzled.  Holly has thorns (and terribly thorny leaves), red
berries, and "bark . . . as bitter as any gall" . . . but ivy has no
thorns, no berries worthy of the mention (except for Virginia Creeper,
which wouldn't be featured in an English song, would it?) and aside from
its possibilities for winding into wreaths, very little to do with the
song.  As to its suitability for Christmas, the berries of the holly plant
are around from late fall to January or so -- long gone by Easter -- and I
guess that many of us make the figurative leap from birth to death and
re-birth whenever we think of Christmas.  Born to die for sinners and all
that.  But of course the song makes the rhyming connections . . .

Are there some verses about ivy?  They don't figure in any of the versions
I've heard, but then I don't get out much!  Best of the holidays to all of
you . . .

Judith Anderson Stuart
Graduate English (PhD II)
York University, North York (now Toronto)
<[log in to unmask]>

On Thu, 18 Dec 1997, Marcus Johns wrote:

> 	If I was correct with my last posting that Holly was an English
> representation of the thorns at the passion, and if it is true that the red
> of the berrys were representative of the blood of Christ, one wonders why
> "The Holly and The Ivy" is a Christmas carol when Easter would appear to be
> more appropriate. Is it just that Holly doesn't grow in spring ?
> 
> 



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