As a private music teacher, I am often surprised to find that some of my students are not familiar with many Christmas carols. I remember singing carols with my family when I was a child. “Away in a Manger” is a wonderful carol to teach your little one.
The text of this beloved Christmas carol is believed to have been written in about 1883 in Philadelphia, author unknown, and first published by the American Lutheran Church. For many years, it was falsely attributed to the German Protestant reformer Martin Luther and was sometimes referred to as “Luther’s Cradle Hymn”. It was also inaccurately reported that he sung his own children to sleep with this carol. In any event, it is a beautiful carol that you can use to sing your child to sleep.
Several composers wrote music to the lyrics of this carol. Two commonly sung versions today are: tune name CRADLE SONG written by William J. Kirkpatrick (more common in Canada and UK), and tune name MUELLER by James R. Murray (more common in the United States).
Whichever version you prefer, sing to your child! They will love to hear your voice and will quickly learn to sing along with you.
Away in a Manger
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
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 cradle till morning is nigh.
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.