Some Children See Him: A Christmas Song From Aunt Wihla

I have a new favorite Christmas song! This is a melody that I was vaguely familiar with, but I never stopped to listen to the words before. When I finally did, I fell in love. Wihla Hutson was born in Indiana, at the turn of the 20th century. She was an only child, and a musical prodigy. After her musical education she became the church organist for All Saints Church in Pontiac, Michigan – home to the Reverend Bates Burt, and his son, the future Reverend Alfred Burt [of choral music fame]. Ms. Hudson never married, but she had hundreds of friends and she was known as Aunt Wihla to all of the children in her community. She brought joy to the world through her music and poetry, and served faithfully in her church until the day she died in March 2002 – just a few days before her 101st birthday! She wrote a new Christmas hymn each year to be presented to the congregation, and in 1951 “Some Children See Him” made its debut.

In 1951, Wihla wrote “Some Children See Him,” one of the most beloved of the Burt carols. With the U.S. engaged in the Korean War–following so closely after the Second World War with Germany and Japan–the simple but moving lyric of this carol affirmed that children of any nationality could imagine Jesus to be like them, with the underlying message that love is more important than any claim of race or nationality. In 1995, the [small pacific island] country of Palau issued a series of stamps … commemorating “Some Children See Him”, and its message of tolerance. – alfredburtcarols.com

Ms. Wihla Hutson

Ms. Wihla Hutson – age 100

Today’s video features one of my favorite musicians, the incomparable James Taylor, singing Wihla Hutson’s sweet Christmas carol. I am including Aunt Wihla’s beautiful poem below so that you can be sure to read and ponder the words.

Enjoy! – MoSop

O lay aside each earthly thing
and with thy heart as offering,
come worship now the infant King.
‘Tis love that’s born tonight!

Some Children See Him – Lyrics

Some children see Him lily white,
the baby Jesus born this night.
Some children see Him lily white,
with tresses soft and fair.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
The Lord of heav’n to earth come down.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
with dark and heavy hair.

Some children see Him almond-eyed,
this Savior whom we kneel beside.
some children see Him almond-eyed,
with skin of yellow hue.
Some children see Him dark as they,
sweet Mary’s Son to whom we pray.
Some children see him dark as they,
and, ah! they love Him, too!

The children in each different place
will see the baby Jesus’ face
like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace,
and filled with holy light.
O lay aside each earthly thing
and with thy heart as offering,
come worship now the infant King.
‘Tis love that’s born tonight!

One thought on “Some Children See Him: A Christmas Song From Aunt Wihla

  1. Love this one, too! Thanks for reminding me of it again this Christmas. Just today, I sat across from the most darling boy, ‘almond eyed’, and we flirted and cooed at each other. Truly God is in our babies.

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