This is day 8 of “The 12 Days Leading to Christmas.” Each day I am highlighting a Christmas hymn that is worth our listening to as Christians this Christmas season. You can read more about the goal of the series here.
Today I highlight for you “What Child Is This?” written by the British fellow William Dix in the 1800s. Many hymns in Britain were written by pastors during this time period but Dix is an exception. He managed a marine insurance company in Glasgow, Scotland and yet wrote tremendous Christian poetry. “What Child Is This” is one such example. The poem is beautiful in its own right. However, paired with the gorgeous medieval tune “Greensleeves,” it shines in beauty.
Here are the lyrics:
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.[Chorus]
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]
Have a listen: