In the 19th century “Sans Day Carol” also known as “St. Day Carol” one of the many beautiful Cornish Christmas carols was written.
This carol and its melody were first transcribed from the singing of Thomas Beard, a villager in St Day in the parish of Gwennap, Cornwall. The fourth verse is a translation from the Cornish version, “Ma gron war’n gelln”.
The lyrics are similar to those of “The Holly and the Ivy” and it is no. 35 in the Oxford Book of Carols.
Sans Day Carol – Christmas Carol Lyrics :
Now the holly bears a berry as white as the milk,
And Mary bore Jesus, all wrapped up in silk:
And Mary bore Jesus our Saviour for to be,
And the first tree in the greenwood, it was the holly.
And the first tree in the greenwood, it was the holly!
Now the holly bears a berry as green as the grass,
And Mary bore Jesus, who died on the cross:
Now the holly bears a berry as black as the coal,
And Mary bore Jesus, who died for us all:
Now the holly bears a berry, as blood is it red,
Then trust we our Saviour, who rose from the dead: