Last year I wrote an article in which I recounted the story of the writing of this beautiful Christmas song. It happens to be my favorite. As I shared in the related linked article below, this carol was written to the tune of Greensleeves. William Chatterton Dix composed the song and this is what he said:
"I was ill and depressed at the time," he says, " and it was almost to idle away the hours that I wrote the hymn. I had been ill for many weeks, and felt weary and faint, and the hymn really expresses the languidness of body from which I was suffering at the time. Soon after its composition — and it took me some time to write out, for my hand trembled, and I could with difficulty hold the pen — I recovered, and I always look back to that hymn as the turning-point in my illness. It is a somewhat curious fact that most of my best known hymns were written when I was suffering from some bodily ailment."