Away In A Manger is something I can picture a baby being rocked to sleep in a stable.
It is a very simple but elegant song that announced a birth had taken place. This song is at the heart of the Christmas Holiday Season.
The lyrics on this song are very short compared to most songs, but each word says so much.
Track #3 of 15 songs on Christmas Piano.
Often this is referred to as “Luther’s Cradle Hymn” but some say Luther did not write this song. The song was never found in Luther’s collections of works that he created. It was first published in 1885 for a Lutheran Sunday School collection. However, it was published by the Universalist Publishing House in Boston on May 3, 1884. There was no author identified and no music was printed. At the time, the suggested tune was “Home! Sweet Home!”.
Some sources indicate that the writer of the first two stanzas of the modern day version of Away In A Manger are unknown. In the sheet music version of this Christmas song that I am using, there are only two verses. They are attributed to Martin Luther. So, it is anyone’s guess who is correct on this and who is not. Most likely the world will never truly know who authored these songs, but that should not distract from the beautiful words and sounds.
There are some that suggest this song was a poem written and performed in a church play about Rev. Martin Luther during the 400th celebration of his birth in 1893. While that is still several years from what was suggested as first being published in 1885, it is interesting the accounts and history of this song. It sounds like there are more questions than answers on the history of Away In A Manger.
Another modern day stanza of this song that is sometimes used is as follows:
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.
For all purposes, there seems to be several variations of this song, so most likely whatever version you will see, may be different than what you are accustomed to when singing this song.
Source: 1) Share Faith 2) Christmas Carols Songbook 3) Hymns and Carols Of Christmas
Lyrics To Away In A Manger
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed. The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head,
The stars in the 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 until morning is nigh..
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