A child is born
for five voices, as numbered: version for one voice here
2 Here is a message from our sponsor:
for I bring you good tidings of great joy
which shall be to you and all mankind
2 in this season of goodwill
which in keeping with our policy of inclusion
we do not connect explicitly
with any particular major world religion.
not be afraid.
3 A little apprehensive, maybe.
Curious—that works too.
Even mild interest would be welcome in some quarters.
unto us a child is born.
4 So that we can be sure
this child will meet your personal needs and expectations for a Messiah
please select from the following optional features.
us a son is given.
5 If your preference was for a daughter
please complete our alternative Daughter Of God questionnaire.
For a gender-free option visit our website.
name shall be
2 □ Wonderful Counsellor, Everlasting Father, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace
3 □ Tarquin
4 □ Muhammed
5 □ Anything you like as he will be dead soon enough
will be born in
2 □ Bethlehem of Judaea, for you O Bethlehem are not least among the Princes of Judah
3 □ Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, Hammersmith*
4 □ Bethlehem, West Bank
5 □ a refugee camp far from his family home
race and colour shall be
2 □ Jewish
3 □ White Caucasian
4 □ something you’d rather not sit next to on a plane
5 □ the colour of bloody genocide
will be born
2 □ of a virgin
3 □ to a couple with two incomes and a series of unsatisfactory Croatian au pair girls
4 □ with anger and little hope
5 □ with HIV
will find the babe
2 □ wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger
3 □ in his nursery with teddy
4 □ in a house marked with bullet holes
5 □ in a shallow grave
2 □ come from the East
3 □ sign him up early for a good prep school or start attending their local Anglican church
4 □ regard him as a potential terrorist
5 □ leave well alone as the region has no oil
will bring him gifts of
2 □ gold, frankincense and myrrh
3 □ privilege
4 □ bombs and rockets
5 □ debt, drought and disease
And the government will be
2 □ on his shoulders
3 □ on his conscience
4 □ on his case
5 □ on vacation somewhere nice
And he will
2 □ save his people from their sins
3 □ achieve the required grades for Oxbridge
4 □ seek asylum in someone else’s country
5 □ fight for his life
And he shall
2 □ reign on the throne of his father David forever
3 □ enjoy a successful portfolio career
4 □ die on a suicide mission
5 □ die through neglect
Will you go now to Bethlehem to see this thing which is come
Which will you find:
2 □ A child in a manger?
3 □ A baby born to rule?
4 □ A refugee and exile?
5 □ A boy born to die too young?
is the odd one out?
2 Trick question.
is the Christ child—
2 Immanuel, God with us
3 a refugee king
from a heavenly home.
4 Born as a bastard
in occupied country,
5 born to be hated,
of his father,
3 fear of his mother,
4 driven to exile,
5 pursued to the end.
24 Trained for his mission,
35 assisted to suicide,
24 trapped by expedience,
35 betrayed by a friend.
the Christ child
12 living among us,
123 God become man
1234 with his power writ small.
All Child in a manger,
infant of Mary,
outcast and stranger,
Lord of all.
*insert name of reputable local hospital here.
carol service at
When being performed the "multiple choice" section can be projected on a screen using Powerpoint or the equivalent.
The last four lines (in italics) are from the carol "Child in the manger" by Mary McDonald (1789-1872).
Typical performance time 3 minutes 40 seconds.