Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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lightning on Candlemas-day 1444, which rooted up a standard of tree at the Leadenhall, in Cornhill, nailed full of holme and ivie for disport of Christmas to the people, which accident was by some attributed to the malignant spirit. Tusser, in the following century writes, " Get iuye and hull, woman decke vp thyne house."
The churchwardens accounts of various parishes, during the 15th and following centuries, contain entries of payments for evergreens at this season, of which many extracts are given by Ellis, in his notes to Brand's " Popular Antiquities," and in Nichols's " Illustrations of Manners and Expences," as from the accounts of St. Mary Hill, London, for 1487: "For holme and yve anenst Crist. Id." and again in the accounts of St. Martin Outwich, London :
" 1524. Itm for holy and ivy at Chrystmas, ijrf. ob. " 1525. Payd for holy and ivye at Crystmas, ij</." During the civil wars, prior to the establishment of the Commonwealth, the practice was not abo­lished, and in 1647 the churchwardens of St. Mar­garet's Westminster " paid for rosemarie and baies that was stuck about the church at Christmas, Lv. 6c?." but were brought before the House of Commons in consequence. Even in the Common­wealth, when the Puritans had the ascendancy, it was preserved. Coles, in his " Art of Simpling," 1656, says, "In some places setting up of holly, ivy, rosemary, bayes, yew, &c. in churches at Christmass, is still in use. And thus Poor Robin's Almanack, in 1695, sings:
With holly and ivy,
So green and so gay, We deck up our houses
As fresh as the day;

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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III