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Origins: Holly and the Ivy's Old French Melody

AeonicB 17 Sep 21 - 02:49 AM
Monique 17 Sep 21 - 03:36 AM
Helen 17 Sep 21 - 05:12 AM
Helen 17 Sep 21 - 05:17 AM
AeonicB 17 Sep 21 - 04:18 PM
leeneia 17 Sep 21 - 05:38 PM
GUEST 18 Sep 21 - 04:47 PM
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Subject: Origins: Holly and the Ivy's Old French Melody
From: AeonicB
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 02:49 AM

This is more Christmasy than traditional folk song, but I'm curious.

The original music for Holly and the Ivy has a different song than the modern one, a bit more somber with a great emphasis on rising/falling energy. It reminds me of This Endiris Night, in that sense.

I noticed that all the printings credit it being based on an Old French Carol, but I can't figure out which one. Is there a good way to search for similar tunes, or does anyone know what this specific carol was?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Holly and the Ivy's Old French Melody
From: Monique
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 03:36 AM

There's a Mudcat thread about it.
Never heard such a French tune but I don't know all and everything about my own culture.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Holly and the Ivy's Old French Melody
From: Helen
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 05:12 AM

A couple of Christmases ago (BC, i.e. Before Coronavirus) I saw a TV show here in Australia which delved into the history of some well-known Christmas carols, including The Holly and the Ivy:

Lucy Worsley's Christmas Carol Odyssey - BBC Four

As I recall, The Holly and the Ivy was a tune for a specific style of French dance, and Lucy W and three others demonstrated the dance.

I'll do a bit of digging and see if I can find out more information.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Holly and the Ivy's Old French Melody
From: Helen
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 05:17 AM

No, sorry, I was mixing it up with Ding Dong Merrily on High.

More research needed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Holly and the Ivy's Old French Melody
From: AeonicB
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 04:18 PM

I should've shared the music sooner. Apologies.

You can find a version of the music here. Be warned, it'll automatically download a MIDI that goes with it:

https://web.archive.org/web/20070203151154im_/http://christmassongbook.net/s7275.asp

I hope it's fine, but I've also uploaded two versions based on the above MIDI to my own Dropbox. In ABC and Music XML, respectively:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kjcvhi5uddx44u3/AABdYJ-YkoNDdA_Y4-YeSxuIa?dl=0


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Subject: RE: Origins: Holly and the Ivy's Old French Melody
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 05:38 PM

Thanks for the link, AeonicB. It's always interesting to hear an old song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Holly and the Ivy's Old French Melody
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 21 - 04:47 PM

THATI fits nicely to 'una paloma blanca'


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