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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Gary T Lyr/Chords Req: Greensleeves (8) RE: Lyr/Chords Req: need Greensleeves chords 21 Dec 01

I had four books with Greensleeves/What Child is This, and there were four different chord arrangements. I question whether there is a single definitive chord sequence.

It seems to me that I read somewhere that "What Child is This" was based on or derived from "Greensleeves," implying that it's not necessarily exactly the same tune. Sounds the same to me, although I haven't rigorously compared them note for note.

Here is, in my opinion, an elegant chord sequence for "What Child is This." It has fewer chord changes than most arrangements, and I think it's the better for it:

       Am                 G            
What child is this, who laid to rest,
Am Em
On Mary's lap is sleeping,
Am G
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
Am E7 Am
While shepherds watch are keeping?
C G Em
This, this is Christ the King,
Am Em
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
C G Em
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
Am E7 Am
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

At the end of the final (3rd) verse, on the last word--"Mary"--use A rather than Am. I understand this is called the "Piccadilly third," and comes from an era where it was thought unseemly to end a song on a minor chord. Whatever the reason, I like the effect it has on the ending.

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