The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Nay iuy, nay

The Contest Between the Ivy and the Holly

Words: English Traditional
Harln. MS, 5396, Temp. Hen. 6.

Compare:
A Song Of the Ivy and the Holly (Sandys, 1833)
The Contest of the Ivy and the Holly (Husk, 1868, with notes)

William Sandys, Christmas-tide, Its History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music (London: John Russell Smith, 1852), pp. 219-20.

See Notes under The Holly And The Ivy.

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" font for best display.
See notes in F A Q

Nuy iuy, nay, hyt shall not be I wys,
Let holy hafe e maystry as e maner ys.

Holy stond in e hall fayre to behold,
Iuy stond wt out e dore, she ys full sore a cold.
    Nuy iuy, nay, hyt shall not be I wys,
    Let holy hafe e maystry as e maner ys.

Holy and hys mery men ey dawnsyn and ey sung,
Iuy and her maydenys ey wepyn and ey wryng.
    Nuy iuy, nay, hyt shall not be I wys,
    Let holy hafe e maystry as e maner ys.

Iuy hath a lyve she laghtyt wt pe colde,
So mot ey all ha fae t wt jvy hold.
    Nuy iuy, nay, hyt shall not be I wys,
    Let holy hafe e maystry as e maner ys.

Holy hat berys as rede as any rose,
The foster e hunters kepe hem fro e dos.
    Nuy iuy, nay, hyt shall not be I wys,
    Let holy hafe e maystry as e maner ys.

Iuy hath berys as blake as any slo,
Ther com e oule and ete hym as she goo.
    Nuy iuy, nay, hyt shall not be I wys,
    Let holy hafe e maystry as e maner ys.

Holy hath berdys a ful fayre flok,
The hyghtyngale e perpyinguy, e gayntyl lauyrok.
    Nuy iuy, nay, hyt shall not be I wys,
    Let holy hafe e maystry as e maner ys.

Gode iuy what byrdys ast pu?
Non but e howlat t kreye how how.
    Nuy iuy, nay, hyt shall not be I wys,
    Let holy hafe e maystry as e maner ys.

Editor's Note:

In Richard Greene, A Selection of Carols, #34A, p. 92, the source is given as "British Museum. MS. Harley 5396." It is described as three manuscripts bound in one from the 12th and 15th centuries (p. 172). See notes under The Contest of the Ivy and the Holly.

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window