The carol is thought to date from the late 1400s. This assignment reportedly prevented him from covering a game involving his alma mater—Fordham University—which was doing very well in football at that time. Gardener Den. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 17, 2014: Hi, Dianna. In this book, she says that many holly and ivy carols existed during the time period that she investigated and that they often involved a debate about the relative merits of men and women. However, an ivy vine (or another vine or a tree) grows out of each grave towards the other one. Thanks for the visit. Prince Albert’s engagement ring to Queen Victoria featured a serpent with an emerald set in its head. ... By the Victorian era, the symbolism of flowers had grown to become an elaborate language, and the symbolism of funeral wreaths was no exception. Rickert's book Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 was published in 1910. Upvoted and shared :-). For example, a Victorian brooch that is decorated with ivy represents everlasting love, deep friendship or marriage, though if this brooch is also dotted with pearls it means it's a mourning piece (pearls represent tears), so it would have been worn by someone who wanted to remember a departed loved one. In the last verse of this carol, Ivy appears to have won the debate about who "will have the mastery" as Holly goes down on one knee in front of her. It's great that you have a neighbor who gives you her ivy! It also may represent dependence and attachment, which can be seen in the way it climbs trees and buildings to get sunlight. Its juvenile stage has lobed and often large leaves, grows in many different environments, and sometimes spreads aggressively. The outside of your home must look beautiful. I find carol history very interesting, too! It seems the link between holly and ivy was just too strong for the ivy to be left out of this famous carol, even though the holly was to be the main subject of the carol. It's easy to imagine how ivy first drew attention to itself. Why did grapes and ivy become associated with Dionysus/Bacchus? This is especially true where ivy is an introduced plant. Ivy symbolises fidelity (it won’t easily let go of something it’s attached itself to) and eternal life (because the plant is evergreen). Although there are three or four different dining spaces, the one I liked was in the back of the restaurant, out of the main action and the buzz. Victorian jewelry speaks to the cycles of life–birth, love, marriage and death—as well as leisure time, hobbies, and travel. English ivy belongs to the ginseng family, or the Araliaceae, and ginkgo belongs to the Ginkgoaceae family. Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 22, 2014: I enjoyed the historical info on the holly and the ivy, and I am one that likes English ivy. I love English ivy too, although I must admit it's often hard to keep under control where I live. Welcome to HubPages! I am an ivy supporter. Re 'The Holly and the Ivy', I learned about this for a hub about Christmas carols I once wrote, and I concur with the view expressed here. Voted up. It's fun to learn more about the topic. Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 03, 2014: You always share information I have never known. Victorian stars often were accented with old cut diamonds for endurance. I appreciate it! I appreciate your kind comment, the vote and the share. Victorian Memorial Symbols Take a look around any of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries and you'll notice intricate symbols on headstones - but what do they mean? I don't know how you do that because I do have some education, but you do it every single time. So, ivy is in the Gingko family. Dionysus sometimes carries a kantharos, or drinking cup, as well as a thyrsus. I think that plant symbolism is an interesting topic to explore. But I did have to research why on earth there were ivy leaves involved in this engraving, which is rather embarrassing as I have a number of ivy leaf pieces in my personal collection! Caswell Adams also worked at the New York Tribune. Dennis Hoyman from Southwestern, Pennsylvania on May 06, 2014: This is Gardener Den I love your hub on growing English Ivy and the history of English Ivy. Some of the university buildings are covered with ivy, and in the 1800s the students at some of the institutions planted ivy as an annual tradition. Learning the special symbolism of flowers became a popular pastime during the 1800s. The plant has featured in European culture for centuries. Although earlier symbols were carved for symbolic meaning rather than decoration, during the Victorian period symbols were often chosen because they were fashionable or looked pleasing to the eye, rather than for their underlying meaning. For those not family with the words of today's carol, they can be heard in the video above. Therefore he became the god of wine. Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on May 06, 2014: I liked reading about the symbolism because I had no idea. Ivy was wrapped around the stalk or branch, which was topped with a pine cone. Thank you for the comment and the votes! I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend and that your access to the Internet is restored soon. I love to see it climb walls of brick homes. If you are interested, I moderate the FB page, it's www.facebook.com/celticguide, if you'd like to talk about contributing please get in touch with me there :-). This song is known as "The Holly and the Ivy". The pole was known as an alepole or an alestake. In the early 1930s, a writer at the New York Tribune named Stanley Woodward referred to the northeastern universities as "ivy colleges". I bought it from Home Depot where it was marked as English Ivy. I appreciate it very much. Due to its classical heritage, ivy is a symbol that lasted throughout the medieval period into the modern, being an embellishment on illuminated manuscripts, used in many of the Baroque and Rococo designs from the 16th-18th centuries and would constantly be used in Victorian art. Search for self. Ivy covered tombstone in Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA. ©2005 Kimberly Powell. Even today, some people appreciate the symbolism of the ivy plant. The festivals related to Dionysus sometimes included drunken frenzy and ecstasy as an important component of the revelry. It's interesting to hear how widespread ivy is. Even before she became a professor, she was an active investigator in the area of English literature and carols. It can be interesting, too! If the fundamental conceptual symbolism was lost in that little introduction, evergreen represents life and eternity (essentially immortality), along with clinging attachment. Blessings to you. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 06, 2014: Hi, truthfornow. It has been introduced to many other parts of the world as an ornamental plant. VioletteRose from Atlanta on May 05, 2014: Great information about the English Ivy, thanks so much for sharing :) I love learning about these! Ivy Ogham Alphabet. Up votes and pinning to my plants board. The Christmas fern and English ivy, both evergreen plants, symbolize the promise of life after death. The oldest of the group is Harvard, which was founded in 1636. In ancient Greece ivy was the plant of Dionysus because of its vigour. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 22, 2014: Hi, Deb. Informative and well researched. The plant had important symbolic meanings and was part of a rich mythology. English ivy and ginkgo are both very interesting plants, but they actually belong to different biological families. Thanks for the visit. The ivy vines meet and twine around each other, forming a connection. Alicia I loved this hub! The carol is believed to date from the 1500s, but the spelling has been updated to that of the 1800s. I admin on some mythology pages and I will give it a share! Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 15, 2014: Thank you for the very informative comment, Colin323! Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 26, 2014: Thank you for the visit and the comment, Cyndi10. Ivy is indigenous to Europe, Africa and parts of Asia, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Antranias, via pixabay.com, Public Domain CC0 License, Holly standeth in the hall fair to behold, Ivy stands without the door; she is full sore a cold. I visited the HubPages forum just now and read about the Internet trouble that you're having. They may also indicate that holly was brought indoors as a winter decoration while ivy wasn't. While we are looking to the sky for symbolism, stars are another powerful motif to collect, representative of guidance, leading you in the direction you were meant to go. In the Victorian era, flowers were primarily used to deliver messages that couldn’t be spoken aloud. A common story on carol websites is that good-natured singing contests were held during the time when the two carols were popular. Very interesting article. Mainly used for decorative purposes, climbing over unsightly walls and fences with tiny aerial roots, ivy has been cultivated as a popular garden plant with hundreds of different variegations. Some people value ivy as an ornamental plant or as a part of nature. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on November 27, 2019: Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 01, 2019: Thank you very much, Maren. 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