Speaking of darkness and forlorn, Loreena McKennitt performs my favorite version of “The Holly and the Ivy.” It is in the minor key, and I believe I use it as an example in my Major/Minor Switching article.
Former versions of this carol have always been very light and bubbly. Not so with the Canadian songstress’ rendition. There’s a melancholy to her muse in the morbid melody. I know Christmas is supposed to be a happy time, but that joy is a bit of a veneer when we recall that birth is for death and sacrifice.