What Child is This?

GodTube Staff What Child is This?
"What Child Is This?" is a Christmas hymn whose lyrics were written by William Chatterton Dix, in 1865. The hymn's accompanying melody has been described as "soulful", "haunting and beautiful" in feeling and nature. Discover the lyrics and story of this beautiful hymn along with music videos below!

1 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!

2 Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.[Chorus]

3 So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.[Chorus] 

Source: Baptist Hymnal, (2008)

Songwriters William Chatterton Dix Published by Public Domain

The Story Behind What Child is This?

At the time of creating this hymn, Dix served as an insurance company manager and had been struck by a critical illness. While recovering, he experienced a spiritual revival that led him to write several hymns, including lyrics to "What Child is This?" that was subsequently set to the tune of "Greensleeves", a traditional English folk song. Although it was formulated in Great Britain, the hymn is more popular in the United States than in its country of origin today.

The lyrics of the carol are taken from a poem written by Dix called "The Manger Throne". The part of the poem that was utilized as the song's lyrics consist of three stanzas in total. The first verse poses a rhetorical question in the first half, with the response coming in the second half. The second verse contains another question that is answered, while the final verse is a universal appeal to everyone urging them "to accept Christ."


Collection of Popular Christmas Hymns and Carols:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
The First Noel
Joy To The World
O Holy Night
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Silent Night
O Come All Ye Faithful
Go Tell It On The Mountain
What Child Is This
O Little Town of Bethlehem
We Three Kings of Orient Are
Ave Maria

Andrea Bocelli Performs 'What Child is This?' With Mary J. Blige
7-Year-Old Will Leave You Speechless With ‘What Child Is This?’

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