I mentioned that I have been enjoying carols from Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band this Advent, and thought it would be fun to share some of the traditional English carols they sing over the next couple of weeks.
First up, the Sans Day Carol, a nineteenth century folk carol that originated at St. Day in Cornwall. Like many old English carols the words embrace the Crucifixion and Resurrection, as well as the nativity ...
1. Now the holly bears a berry as white as the milk,
And Mary bore Jesus, who was wrapped up in silk.
Chorus: And Mary bore Jesus Christ our Saviour for to be,
And the first tree in the greenwood, it was the holly.
And the first tree in the greenwood, it was the holly!
2. Now the holly bears a berry as green as the grass,
And Mary bore Jesus, who died on the cross.
3. Now the holly bears a berry as black as the coal,
And Mary bore Jesus, who died for us all.
4. Now the holly bears a berry, as blood is it red,
Then trust we our Saviour, who rose from the dead.
It is best known in this arrangement by John Rutter:
I prefer Maddy Prior's more lively folk music version ..