Ivy Chefe Off Treis It Is
Words and Music:
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;
Ivy is soft and mek off spech,
Ageynst all bale she is blysse;
Well is he that may hyre rech;
Ivy is green, with coloure bright,
Off al treis best she is;
And that I preve well now be right;
Ivy beryth berys black;
God graunt us all his blysse!
For there shall we nothyng lack:
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:
Ivy Chefe Off Treis It Is (Wright, 1847) (this page)
Ivy, Chief Of Trees, It Is (Vizetelly, 1851)
Ivy, Chief Of Trees (Husk, 1868)
Ivy Chefe Of Treis It Is (Chambers & Sidgwick, 1907)