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Blog Caroling 2011: What Child is This? featuring Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige

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. 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)
Of Mary

  • Nice!  I’m glad you found out in time to join in!!

  • You’re right — that’s an amazing performance of a most beautiful song.  I’ve always loved the melody.

    • Hi Wendy and thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my fav Christmas carol. You are so right about that being a most beautiful song. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • Gini


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  • minkyadoo

    Beautiful choice, beautiful combination of voices, I remember when they sang “bridge over trouble waters” Thank you for bringing this forward, one of my favorites as well. This Blog Caroling is so nice and its such a nice break during the holidays. Thank you for your christmas greetings, and I wish you many returns. Have a wonderful time this christmas..

    • Oh yes-s-s-s “Bridge Over Trouble Waters” performed by these two was P H E N O M E N A L! Thank you Shelley for checking out my Blog Caroling selection from 2011. I’m very happy that you joined the tour this year and look forward to blog caroling with you next year!

  • Ahhh, Thank you for re-posting this. Lush, melancholy, wondrous, profound. This has made my day!

    • Mariann, I play this song at least once a day since Thanksgiving. So I can certainly relate to the emotions you felt as you listened to it. Thank you for stopping by and listening to one of my fav Christmas classics; I am equally thankful that it made your day!

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