Adapter: Tom Colvin

Tom Colvin (b. 1925; d. 2000) was trained as an engineer and worked in that profession in Burma and Singa­pore from 1945 to 1948. After studying theology at Trinity College, Glasgow University, he was ordained in the Church of Scotland in 1954. He served as missionary in Nyasa­land (now Malawi) from 1954 to 1958, in Ghana from 1958 to 1964, and again in Nyasa­land from 1964 to 1974. His work there included preaching, education, and community development. After completing his missionary work, Colvin became a minister in the United Reformed Church of England and served an inner-city church in London. He returned to Africa in 1984 as a development consultant to the Zimbabwe Christian Council. Colvin's writings include Christ's Work in Free… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Adapter: Tom Colvin (1967)
Meter: Irregular
Key: F Major
Source: Malawi melody
Copyright: Text and music © 1969, Hope Publishing Co. International copyright secured. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


That Boy-Child of Mary

That boy-child of Mary was born in a stable,
a manger his cradle in Bethlehem.

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Colvin adapted a traditional Malawian melody for this text and named the tune for the Blantyre Synod in Malawi. BLANTRYE is in a call-and-response form; therefore, it is best to alternate between soloists or small choir and the entire group or congregation. Try having a soloist sing stanza 1, the choir sing in parts on stanzas 2-4 (adjusting the hymnal harmonization, or using a published arrangement), and the entire group sing stanza 5 as well as the refrain. Another possibility would be to have young children gather to sing the refrain and the whole congregation sing the stanzas. Use very light accompaniment (if any at all), but support the tune with improvised percussion patterns: drums, tambourines, shakers, or clapping; Orff xylophones would also work well. This hymn is another one of those perpetual energy songs with no breaks between the refrain and the stanzas.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


Organ Solo

  • Easy Hymn Settings for Organ Volume 3
    Composer/Editor Ronald A. Nelson
    Published By: Augsburg Fortress (2013) pp. 38
  • Christ Is Born!: Hymn Preludes for Organ
    Composer/Editor J. Wayne Kerr
    Published By: Augsburg Fortress (2000) pp. 22

Harmonizations, Introductions, Descants, Intonations

  • Introductions and Alternate Accompaniments for Organ Volume 1: Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Hymns 239 - 303

    Published By: Augsburg Fortress (2007) pp. 293
  • Introductions and Alternate Accompaniments for Piano Volume 1: Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Hymns 239 - 303

    Published By: Augsburg Fortress (2007) pp. 293


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Worship and Rejoice #211
Text: That Boy-Child of Mary
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Instances (1 - 14 of 14)

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Evangelical Lutheran Worship #293

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The United Methodist Hymnal #241

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Worship and Rejoice #211

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