Famous Christmas Carols – Story Behind the Carol – “What Child Is This?”

What Child Is This? Shepherds guarded Him. Angels sang about Him.  Wise men worshiped Him. Satan tried to destroy Him. Today many still do not know, but wise men continue to worship Him.

Written by William Chatterton Dix “What Child Is This?” was first published in Christmas Carols New and Old around 1867 and edited by Bramley/Stainer.

Please don’t miss Kaitlyn Maher singing this original arrangement of “What Child is This” at Christian Fellowship Church on Christmas Eve 2011.  Beautiful!

For the complete story of how this carol was written and came to be set to the music of Greensleeves go to Lectionary.org .

What Child Is This

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2

Words & Music: English, Traditional, from the Greensleeves Melody

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!

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!



About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
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