1 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.
Oh, the rising of the sun
and the running of the deer,
the playing of the merry organ,
sweet singing in the choir!

2 The holly bears a blossom
as white as any flower;
and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
to be our sweet saviour.
Oh, the rising . . .

3 The holly bears a berry
as red as any blood;
and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
to die for all our good.
Oh, the rising . . .

4 The holly bears a prickle,
as sharp as any thorn;
and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
to wear a cruel crown.
Oh, the rising . . .

5 The holly bears a bark
as bitter as any gall;
and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
to suffer for us all.
Oh, the rising . . .

6 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.
Oh, the rising . . .

Traditional
© in this version Word & Music / The Jubilate Group