Composer: James R. Murray

L.P.M. (1905, April 12). Obituary. New Church Messenger, p.209. Murray.--At Cincinnati, March 10, 1905, James Ramsey Murray. Funeral services in the Church of the New Jersualem, March 13th. James R. Murray was widely known in the musical world as the author of many songs and song books, and in the New Church in Chicago and Cincinnati as an affectionate, intelligent, and loyal New Churchman. He was born in Andover (Ballard Vale), Mass., March 17, 1841. In early life he developed musical talent, and composed many minor pieces for local and special occasions. Later at North Reading, Mass., he attended Dr. George F. Root's School of Music, and was associated with William Bradbury and Dr. Lowell Mason. He enlisted in the Fourteenth Regi… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: James R. Murray (1887)
Incipit: 55433 21176 55565
Key: F Major
Copyright: Public Domain


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, Murray's hymnbook erroneously described this song as: "Luther's Cradle Hymn. Composed by Martin Luther for his children, and still sung by German mothers to their little ones." As a result, the hymn was wrongly attributed to Luther for many years. As a young man taught by such famous music teachers as Lowell Mason (PHH 96), George Root (PHH 93), and William Bradbury (PHH 114), Murray also studied at the Musical Institute in North Reading, Massachusetts. From 1868 until the Chicago fire of 1871 destroyed the company, he edited the Song Messenger for the publishing firm of Root and Cady. He then returned to his birth place, Andover, and taught music in the public schools. From 1881 to 1905 he was an editor for the John Church Company of Cincinnati, an important publisher of church school materials and gospel music, including the monthly Musical Visitor. Murray composed many gospel songs and tunes and compiled a number of church school songbooks that contained his music. AWAY IN A MANGER is a simple tune in ABAC form, probably best performed with light organ accompaniment and/ or with flute, recorder, guitar, or Orff instruments. "Away in a Manger" is a fine young children's choir anthem; it could be sung by children alone, with adults humming the harmony. The hymn is suitable for two-part, four-part, or unison singing. Try also to sing unaccompanied. Maintain one pulse per bar. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #103
Text: Away in a Manger
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #80
  • Four-part harmony, full-score (PDF, NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #327
Text: Away in a Manger
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
The Cyber Hymnal #2948
Text: I Met the Good Shepherd
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #348
Text: Away in a Manger
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
The United Methodist Hymnal #217
Text: Away in a Manger
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
Worship and Rejoice #203
Text: Away in a Manger


Instances (1 - 60 of 60)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
African American Heritage Hymnal #209TextPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #331
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #103TextAudioPage Scan
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #205TextFlexscorePage Scan
Celebrating Grace Hymnal #110TextPage Scan
Chalice Hymnal #147Text
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #80Tune InfoScoreAudio
Christmas Favorites #11
Christmas Favorites #22
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #776b
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #277TextAudioPage Scan
Gather (3rd ed.) #448Page Scan
Gather Comprehensive #353TextPage Scan
Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #365
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #115Text InfoTextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Hinário para o Culto Cristão #99
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #132Text
Hymns of Faith #131TextPage Scan
Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #158TextPage Scan
Hymns of the Saints: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints #232
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #252Text
Lift Every Voice and Sing II: an African American hymnal #27Text
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #86TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Lutheran Service Book #364Text
Mil Voces para Celebrar: Himnario Metodista #93
Nyimbo za Imani Yetu #61A
Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #381Page Scan
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #186
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #25Text
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #348Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Rejoice Hymns #232
Rejoice in the Lord #213TextPage Scan
Sing Joyfully #213TextPage Scan
Sing With Me #87TextPage Scan
Singing Our Faith: a hymnal for young Catholics #110TextPage Scan
Singing the Faith #191b
Small Church Music #814Audio
Small Church Music #2622Audio
Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #433
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #262TextPage Scan
The Christian Life Hymnal #105
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #164
The Cyber Hymnal #327TextScoreAudio
The Cyber Hymnal #2948TextScoreAudio
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #157Text
The New Century Hymnal #124TextFlexscorePage Scan
The New National Baptist Hymnal #57
The United Methodist Hymnal #217TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #30
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #31Page Scan
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #32Page Scan
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #20Text
The Worshiping Church #147TextFlexscorePage Scan
Timeless Truths #374TextAudio
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #204TextFlexscorePage Scan
TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #123TextAudio
TTT-Himnaro Cigneta #616bTextAudio
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #6
Worship and Rejoice #203TextScoreAudioPage Scan
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #65TextAudio
Include 44 pre-1979 instances
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