Away in a Manger

Away In A Manger
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

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 ’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 fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.

Who would expect that this lovely carol for children would be mired in controversy as to its writers? It has long been attributed to Martin Luther, and is shown as such in the 1987 Salvation Army Song Book, but in the 2015 Song Book, it is listed as “Anonymous”. This is because extensive research done by American musicologist Richard Hill in the 1940s found that the carol was written long after Luther’s time. It was first sung in 1883 at a celebration in a Lutheran church in Pennsylvania, marking the 400th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther. For some reason, James R. Murray, the probable composer of one of the tunes associated with the carol, actually wrote in his book, Dainty Songs for Little Lads and Lasses, that Luther had written the song for his children and that German mothers still sing it to their little ones! There are people who still find it difficult to believe that the song was not the creation of Martin Luther, since it has been labeled as such for so long.

Murray’s tune is called Luther’s Cradle Hymn by some, but in the 2015 S.A. Tune Book it is titled The Manger Scene . The other of the two tunes most used is called Away in a Manger and was written by William Kirkpatrick. Hill’s research showed that over the years, forty-one tunes have been used for this song!

Whatever its origins, this carol gently brings us to the side of the manger with a sense of quietness and peace. May we all experience this once again at some point in our Christmas worship and celebration.

S.A. SONG BOOK, 1987 EDITION, # 77; 2015 EDITION, # 102

You might also enjoy

Scroll to Top

COVID 19 Update

The members of The Salvation Army Oshawa Temple want to protect you from any Covid-19 spread yet, at the same time, wish to journey life with you. 

At present, there are still reports of new strains of Covid-19 spread and, unfortunately, we are not at a level of vaccination that safely allows us to congregate. Therefore, we have initiated the following:

 In-Person Church Services are postponed until further notice, but our ONLINE SERVICES, complete with music, songs, prayer, and Biblically focused sermons can be found here. [Click to follow]

 Our CHURCH OFFICE is closed, but we are still available Monday – Friday (9:30 am – 3:00 pm).  If you have enquiries, needs, prayer requests, or simply want to discuss life, please connect with us by phone at 905-436-0011, text us at 289-768-5959, or email the office. Email address is 

 Our FOOD BANK and THRIFT STORE in downtown Oshawa are operating under COVID restrictions. If you are solely in need of food, please make an appointment at 905-723-7422 ext 221. 

 The Thrift Store is operating under COVID Restrictions. Store is closed April 12th -14th. Planned reopening Thursday April 15th. Accepting donations resumes Thursday April, 15th Mon-Fri 9:30am-4pm at the back loading dock door.  Please access the Albert Street side of the building in downtown Oshawa from Monday – Friday (9:30 am – 4:30 pm) and Saturday (10:00 am – 4:00 pm).  The Thrift Store is closed on Sunday. More Thrift Store Details… [Click to follow]

 COUNSELLING SERVICES, including aid with annual TAX RETURNS, continue Monday – Friday (9:30 am – 4:30 pm),  but please call for an appointment at 905-723-7422. Registration for The Low Income Tax Clinic is online. [Click to follow]