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Dgreetings » Gift Ideas » Christmas Gifts » Carols » Away in Manger

Away in a Manger Carol

Away in a Manger is an extremely popular Christmas Carol , particularly with the Children. In fact it’s the first carol that most children are taught. It is a lot more popular in the United States than anywhere else in the world, the reason for that being that it is one of the only carols which is considered entirely American with the music being composed in the United States.
History Of Away In A Manger
“Away in a Manger” was first published in an 1885 Lutheran Sunday School book by James R. Murray (March 7, 1841 - March 10, 1905), but the author of the first two stanzas is unknown. The song has two major melodies but none can say who authored them. However, it is most definitely certain that Dr. John McFarland of New York City added the third stanza in 1904.

Just by virtue of the fact that the carol first appeared in the Lutheran Magazine, many people have attributed the carol to Martin Luther. However, that is most certainly not true.James R. Murray had the song published in a popular book of songs for children under the title, “Luther's Cradle Hymn (Composed by Martin Luther for his children and still sung by German mothers to their little ones.)” The public thought the title to be true and till today people believe that Martin Luther wrote the song. It may come across as strange though that the song is unknown in Germany and the little fact that it bears no resemblance to Luther's musical style cannot be ignored. The words are from a poem that was published in 1885 in the Lutheran Sunday school book. Where? Not Germany, but Philadelphia, PA USA! James R. Murray may have written the song himself. What is certain though, is that Martin Luther did not write this song.

Catholics associate the tune of this carol with that of “Mueller” whereas the Protestants believe it is adopted from the tune of “Cradle Song.” A new setting for the words was composed by John Tavener in 2004. This new setting was performed at Cambridge in Christmas 2005.

Many people also believe that the carol has been adapted from the German folk songs, because of the close resemblance of the musical styles. And the Scottish are of the belief that it is an imitation of the Scottish song “Flow Gently Sweet Afternoon!” However, the carol in its own right is almost as famous as the Silent Night or Come All Ye Faithful .

Away In A Manger Lyrics

Away in a manger,
No crib for His 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 poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes

I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side,
'Til 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 take us to heaven
To live with Thee there

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