What Child Is This?

Song lyrics to the classic Christmas carol, ‘What Child is This?’

What Child Is This? is a Christmas carol, lyrics were written by William Chatterton Dix, in 1865. At the time, Dix had been struck by a severe illness. While recovering, he underwent a spiritual renewal that led him to write several hymns, including lyrics to this carol that was subsequently set to the tune of “Greensleeves”, a traditional English folk song. Although it was written in Great Britain, the carol is more popular in the United States.

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 Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king, to own him.
the King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone him.

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