“Who is the Child?” is a beautiful little Christmas song, sure to be enjoyed by your Primary. Mabel Jones Gabbott, who wrote the words, provides an interesting twist to the usual Christmas song by asking us in the first verse who the baby in the manger is. After we have given that question some thought, the second verse does supply us with the answer. 🙂 The melody, by Michael F. Moody, is hauntingly beautiful, especially as it increases in intensity in measures 5 and 6 and comes to a lovely resolution in measures 7 and 8.
I always think Christmas is a good time to bring out the rhythm band instruments! This gentle almost-lullaby doesn’t lend itself to a loud assortment of instruments, however.
Here is my orchestration suggestion:
1 shaker – “Who is the child in the swaddling clothes,
2 shakers – Lying asleep in the manger?
3 shakers – Mary and Joseph watch nearby.
Triangle – A child with a triangle strikes it once on the sixth beat of measure 6.
1 shaker again – Who is this little stranger?
The second verse would be the same.
So, basically, a shaker is added on each of the first three phrases of the song, with the triangle emphasizing the beginning of the musical resolution on beat six of measure 6. For the fourth phrase, the accompaniment softens down again to just one shaker. Of course, the piano is also playing softly throughout.