Away in a Manger

Representative Text

1 Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
the stars in the heavens looked down where He lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

2 The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

3 Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven, to live with Thee there.


Source: Hymns to the Living God #111

Author (attributed to): Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >

Author (st. 1-2): Anonymous

In some hymnals, the editors noted that a hymn's author is unknown to them, and so this artificial "person" entry is used to reflect that fact. Obviously, the hymns attributed to "Author Unknown" "Unknown" or "Anonymous" could have been written by many people over a span of many centuries. Go to person page >

Author (v. 3, attr.): John T. McFarland

(no biographical information available about John T. McFarland.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
Title: Away in a Manger
Author (st. 1-2): Anonymous (1885)
Author (v. 3, attr.): John T. McFarland (1892)
Author (attributed to): Martin Luther
Meter: 11.11.11.11
Source: Traditional carol
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

Scripture References: st. 1 = Luke 2:4-7 Stanzas 1 and 2 of this anonymous children's hymn were first published in the Lutheran compilation Little Children's Book for Schools and Families (Philadelphia, 1885). Charles H. Gabriel (PHH 24) published the text with an additional third stanza, also anonymously written in his Vineyard Songs (1892). Though obviously a children's hymn, "Away in a Manger" is a charming favorite of many people, regardless of age. When people object to the "no crying" phrase in stanza 2, seeing it as a denial of Christ's humanity, they've really missed the childlike nature of this hymn. "Away in a Manger" has a lullaby character in stanzas 1 and 2; stanza 3 is an evening bedtime prayer. Liturgical Use: Christmas season, perhaps best on Christmas Eve or on a similar evening worship service. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

MUELLER

With the original two-stanza text, AWAY IN A MANGER was first published in James R. Murray's Dainty Songs for Little Lads and Lasses (1887) and initialed “J. R. M.” Murray (b. Andover, MA, 1841; d. Cincinnati, OH, 1905) compiled the songbook and is now thought to be the tune's composer. However,…

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