4:00 | SATB | Score

Program Note

What Child Is This? is a traditional English Christmas Carol composed in the 1800s. This arrangement, commissioned by Jonathan Bautista and Nova Vocal Ensemble, fuses the melody and lyrics of “What Child is This” with motives and harmonies found in “Carol of the Bells”, a Ukrainian carol. Each voice has a chance to sing the various motives drawn from “Carol of the Bells”, making this a fun choral piece that combines two beloved Christmas carols.

Text

Verse 1

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.

 

Verse 2

Why lies He in such mean estate,

Where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christians, fear, for sinners here

The silent Word is pleading.

This, this is Christ the King,

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,

The Babe, the Son of Mary.

 

Verse 3

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,

Come peasant, king to own Him;

The King of kings salvation brings,

Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

This, this is Christ the King,

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;

Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,

The Babe, the Son of Mary.