COMPOSER’S NOTE

A simple, but beautiful, strophic Christmas carol setting the words of the poem by William Chatterton-Dix.

The tempo is fairly flexible and there are no set dynamic markings.  However, care should be taken to mirror the text’s juxtaposition of question and answer as well as the contrasting moods of each verse.  It may be interesting to note that the premiere performance asked the questions at a quieter dynamic than the ensuing answers, and the last verse began with a confident forte.

DURATION
3 minutes


CHORUS
unaccompanied SATB


YEAR OF COMPOSITION
2023


PUBLISHER
Hawes Music


SHEET MUSIC


Available from

Hawes Music
JW Pepper
Music Room
Music Shop Europe



WHAT CHILD IS THIS?

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?

Refrain:
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 Christians, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading. Refrain

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

Words: William Chatterton Dix (1837 – 1898)