Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Ban this filth: The Holly and the Ivy.

I confess that I set out to write the 'H' and 'I' segment of this series as a celebration of the old English song The Holly and the Ivy. However,  in the course of my research the true meaning of the lyrics was revealed to me and so instead, I shall briefly 'out' this panoply of filth, that you might ban it from the music room when you gather around the Bechstein on the 25th of December. 

Prior to my enlightenment, I had believed that the song was nothing more than a gay amusement, innocently equating the suffering of Jesus on the cross with the bright colours of the evergreen plants. It seems however that as with so many elements in our modern Christmas, the references to the Messiah were added later. The song itself is 'pagan' and these perennials are not being celebrated. They are being used 'figuratively' as metaphors for acts best left beyond the boudoir door.

The 'holly' is a thinly concealed vision of raw manhood. The 'ivy', which represents womanhood,  is thankfully largely ignored in the text and while modern feminists might feel rather aggrieved that once again they have been overlooked by a clearly misogynistic 11th Century poet, one cannot help feeling that they got off rather lightly.

I shall say no more, lest the truth falls into the 'wrong hands' and spreads sensationally around the prep rooms of minor public schools. You can draw your own conclusions from the text . In the meantime, I have written a stiff rebuke to Breitkopf and Haertel, enclosing my sheet music and demanding reimbursement of eight-pence and a recommendation of a parental certificate . I would suggest that you do the same.

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