What Child is This? asks a Christmas question that many artists have attempted to answer. The Piano Guys answer it well – without even using its famous lyrics.
We will always lay claim to being the first in line when it comes to the Piano Guys because we’re Jon Schmidt fans first. Jon’s Christmas concerts back in the day (featuring his parents, no less) were such fun and heartfelt events.
But if there is one constant that makes the Piano Guys so watchable and listenable it’s this: simplicity.
There is always reverence and fidelity to the original written work and this version of What Child is This showcases that nicely. It’s pensive, joyful and eye-opening…in a simple way:
What Child is This is a good example of new wine in old bottles. The melody is an ancient folk tune known as “Greensleeves”. But the words we know and repeat with each Christmas season were written in the mid-19th century by an insurance salesman.
His name was William Chatteron Dix and he wrote the new words to Greensleeves while recovering from a health crisis that rejuvenated his faith.
The lyrics of the carol are taken from a poem written by Dix called “The Manger Throne”. The part of the poem that was utilized as the song’s lyrics consist of three stanzas in total. The first verse poses a rhetorical question in the first half, with the response coming in the second half. The second verse contains another question that is answered, while the final verse is a universal appeal to everyone urging them “to accept Christ.”
For the Piano Guys this song continues a tradition of supplying us with thoughtful Christmas arrangements that inspire and bring peace. We’re grateful.