Blog Caroling 2011 is in full swing from December 7 – 14 and I’m so delighted to be a part of this online holiday tradition that was started by footnoteMaven some years ago!
One of my favorite traditional Christmas songs is What Child is This? which was written in 1865 by William Chatterton Dix, an English writer of hymns and carols. According to Wikipedia, “[a]t the age of twenty-nine, William Chatterton Dix was struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bedrest for several months, during which he went into a deep depression. Yet out of his near-death experience, he wrote many hymns, including “What Child is This?,” later set to the traditional English tune “Greensleeves.”
I fell in love with this carol all over again when I heard David Foster’s piano arrangement of it sung by Andrea Bocelli and R & B singer, Mary J. Blige for Bocelli’s PBS My Christmas Special (click to see this powerful performance). He later performed this song with Mary on the Holiday Music Extravaganza edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired November 30, 2009. Below is that performance from Oprah’s show and the lyrics. Enjoy!
What Child Is This?
What child is this
Who laid to rest
On Marys lap is sleeping?
Oh, whom angels greet
With anthems sweet
While the good shepherds
Watch our keeping
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
For raise, for raise this song on high
His mother sings her lullaby
Oh joyful, joyful Christ is born
The Babe, the Son of Mary (Mary)
What child is this
What child is this (what child is this yeah)
This, this is Christ the king
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing
Haste, haste to bring him more
The Babe (oh the Babe) and the Son (and the Son) of Mary (of Mary, Mary, Mary)
Of Mary (of Mary)