What Child Is This?

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"What Child Is This?" is a popular Christmas carol with lyrics written in 1865. At the age of 29, English writer 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.[1][2] Yet out of his near-death experience, Dix wrote many hymns, including this one, set to the traditional English tune "Greensleeves."[3]


The lyrics exist in several variants in different books. The version below is taken from Lutheran Service Book of 2006, with the punctuation following the New Oxford Book of Carols.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Guy McCutchan (1937) Our hymnody, a manual of the Methodist hymnal
  2. ^ John Telford (1934) The new Methodist hymn-book illustrated in history and experience
  3. ^ William Simon, Editor (1981) The Reader's Digest Merry Christmas Songbook, p.164.
  4. ^ "The Christmas in You" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 2005. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Bad Religion: Christmas Songs: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 5 January 2014.