A child is born
for five voices: version for one or two voices here
2 Here is a message from our sponsor:
1 Fear not,
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.
1 Do not be
3 A little apprehensive, maybe.
Curious—that works too.
Even mild interest would be welcome in some quarters.
1 For 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.
1 Unto us a son
5 If your preference was for a daughter
please complete our alternative Daughter Of God questionnaire.
For a gender-free option visit our website.
1 His name shall
2 (a) Wonderful Counsellor, Everlasting Father, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace
3 (b) Hugo
4 (c) Muhammed
5 (d) Anything you like as he will be dead soon enough
1 He will be
2 (a) Bethlehem of Judaea, for you O Bethlehem are not least among the Princes of Judah
3 (b) Queen Charlotte and Chelsea Hospital*
4 (c) Bethlehem, West Bank
5 (d) a refugee camp far from his family home
1 His race and
colour shall be
2 (a) Jewish
3 (b) White Caucasian
4 (c) something I’d rather not sit next to on a plane
5 (d) the colour of genocide
1 He will be
2 (a) of a virgin
3 (a) to a couple with two incomes and a series of unsatisfactory Croatian au pairs
4 (c) with anger and little hope
5 (d) with HIV
1 You will find
2 (a) wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger
3 (b) in his nursery with teddy
4 (c) in a house marked with bullet holes
5 (d) in a shallow grave
1 Wise men will
2 (a) come from the East
3 (b) sign him up early for a good prep school or start attending their local Anglican church
4 (c) regard him as a potential terrorist
5 (d) leave well alone as the region has no oil
1 They will
bring him gifts of
2 (a) gold, frankincense and myrrh
3 (b) privilege
4 (c) bombs and rockets
5 (d) debt, drought and disease
1 And the
government will be
2 (a) on his shoulders
3 (b) on his conscience
4 (c) on his case
5 (d) on vacation somewhere nice
1 And he
2 (a) save his people from their sins
3 (b) achieve the required A level grades for Oxbridge
4 (c) seek asylum in someone else’s country
5 (d) fight for his life
1 And he
2 (a) reign on the throne of his father David forever
3 (b) enjoy a successful portfolio career
4 (c) die on a suicide mission
5 (d) die through neglect
1 Will you
go now to Bethlehem to see this thing which is come to pass?
Which will you find:
2 (a) A child in a manger?
3 (b) A baby born to rule?
4 (c) A refugee and exile?
5 (d) A boy born to die too young?
1 Which is the
odd one out?
2 Trick question.
1 Each is the
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,
2 Hope of his
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.
1 Here is the
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 maternity hospital here.
carol service at
Five voices read the lines as numbered. It is more effective if the (a) (b) (c) (d) letters are all read by Voice 1, as indicated by the italics. For example, Voice 1 says: "His race and colour shall be [a]" and Voice 2 then says "Jewish".
When being performed the "multiple choice" section should if possible be projected on a screen using Powerpoint or similar software, with each sentence coming up as it is spoken.
The last four lines are from the carol "Child in the manger" by Mary McDonald (1789-1872).
Typical performance time 3 minutes 40 seconds.
© Godfrey Rust, firstname.lastname@example.org. See here for details of permissions for use.