A-M Classical  

What Child Is This?

Tune: Greensleeves. William Chatterton Dix wrote the words to this familiar carol, borrowing the old ballad "Greensleeves" for the tune. The outer verses are based on Stainer's arrangement from "Christmas Carols New and Old," the middle verse is adapted from an arrangement of Greensleeves by Franz Joseph Haydn. [Download the mp3]

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;
Haste, 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 Christians, 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 a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

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Updated 12/08/2010.