Friday, December 24, 2010

What Child Is This?, by Mannheim Steamroller

Used by permission. Artwork by Jason Jenicke.

Our family has loved the old 1984 CD Mannheim Steamroller Christmas for at least 20 years. We never tire of the music for a pleasant and joyful atmosphere in our home. What Child Is This? was a popular Christmas carol written in 1865 by William Dix, set to the tune Greensleeves. It is good to see this old melody claimed for Jesus!

I like to think anything on this Christmas CD is akin to Mozart for stimulating those old brain synapses in us 50-60 somethings :) Quintessential Christmas!


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.
Nails, spear, shall pierce Him through,
The Cross be borne, for me, for you.
Hail, hail, the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh;
Come peasant, king, to own Him.
The King of Kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise, the song on high,
The Virgin sings her lullaby:
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary

The Mannheim Steamroller version is called Greensleeves.
For many people, the song ‘Greensleeves’ is associated with the Tudors, England and with traditional English music. There is a persistent myth that Greensleeves was composed by Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn, his second wife ~1580.

Supporting Scriptures:
"And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh." Matthew 2:11

"And she (Mary) brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22

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