About the Carols

What Child Is This
This melody is the beautiful Greensleeves. It dates from Elizabethan time, possibly even earlier. The song was first registered in 1850 to Richard Jones with lyrics that were neither religious nor respectable. Shakespeare mentions it by name in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" in which is it played while traitors are hanged. In 1865 William Chatterton Dix (English) wrote "The Manger Throne", three verses of which became "What Child Is This."
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