This was one of the most beautiful melodies.
What Child Is This is to the tune of Green Sleeves and it is a lively melody. It is a song full of joy and exclamation.
To me, it is a very rhyming and flowing song where the words not only tell a story, but also rhyme.
The song is so innocent but special because in many ways it tells the story of Christmas and the birth of Jesus but in a very concise manner.
Track #5 of 15 songs on Christmas Piano.
The words to the Christmas song, What Child Is This, are sung to the song, Green Sleeves. William Dix wrote the words to this carol. Three verses of this carol were actually taken from a poem he had written called, “The Manger Throne”. What Child Is This was first published around 1867,
William Dix was the son of a surgeon in England. He spent most of his time working as the manager for the Maritime Insurance Company of Scotland. He wrote several simple and reverent hymns.
The first stanza seems to be more influenced by romantic poets of the day, while stanza two references the humble place where Jesus was born. The second stanza alludes to the suffering of Christ on the cross. The final stanza tends to go against the class structures of the time showing that Jesus is for both the peasant and the king.
Source: 1) Discipleship Ministries 2) Christmas Carols Songbook
Lyrics To What Child Is This?
The What child is this, who laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King; whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Hate, haste to bring him laud, The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies he in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here. The silent word is pleading:
Nails, spear, shall pierce him through, The Cross be borne, for me, for you:
Hail, hail, the word made flesh, The babe, the Son Of Mary
So bring him incense, gold and myrrh, Come peasant, king, to own him:
The king of kings salvation brings, Let loving hearts enthrone him.
Raise, raise the song on high, the virgin sings her lullaby:
Joy, joy, for Christ is born, the babe, the Son of Mary!
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