The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ivy Chefe Off Treis It Is

For Christmas

Words and Music: Traditional English
Bodleian Library. MS. Eng. Poet. e. 1. XV Century

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #70, printed verbatim from a manuscript probably owned by a professional musician, and apparently written in the latter half of the fifteenth century, circa 1471-1485.

See Notes Under The Holly And The Ivy.

Ivy chefe off treis it is, veni coronaberis

The most worthye she is in towne;
    He that seyth other, do amysse;
And worthy to bere the crowne;
                    Veni coronaberis.

Ivy is soft and mek off spech,
    Ageynst all bale she is blysse;
Well is he that may hyre rech;
                    Veni coronaberis.

Ivy is green, with coloure bright,
    Off al treis best she is;
And that I preve well now be right;
                    Veni coronaberis.

Ivy beryth berys black;
    God graunt us all his blysse!
For there shall we nothyng lack:
                    Veni coronaberis.

Editor's Note:

This version is also found in Richard Greene, ed., A Selection of English Carols (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1962), #35, pp. 93-94.

Versions of this carol on this web site include:

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