WHAT CHILD IS THIS?

What-Child-Is-This
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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.
Nail, 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! 

William_Chatterton_DixWilliam Chatterton Dix used a poem he had written previously, The Manger Throne, as the source of this carol.  He tried to create an air of mystery by asking questions in the first two verses, and then he provided the triumphant answers. It isn’t known if the old English melody, Greensleeves, was added to the poem by Dix himself, or whether this was done collaboratively with Sir John Stainer, who most likely composed the harmony. Although it is not in the Salvation Army Song Book, the carol is familiar to many and included in S.A. Band Christmas repertoire.

WORDS: WILLIAM CHATTERTON DIX;  MUSIC: OLD ENGLISH/SIR JOHN STAINER
REFERENCE: HOWES, IAN, CELEBRATION MORNING

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