Sunday, December 18, 2011
Away in a Manger

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus lay 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 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.

This carol tells the story of the night Jesus was born. In the Bible, we are told Mary (the mother of Jesus) and her husband Joseph are required to travel to the city of Bethlehem for a king-ordered census, but once they get there, all of the rooms in the various inns, hotels, etc were full, so they slept in a stable. And of course, like in all the movies, this is the night Mary went into labor and gave birth. Since they were essentially in a barn, Mary and Joseph used a feeding trough (a manger) for a crib.

 The third verse was actually added later, the song originally had only two verses. This one is interesting to me because I was not aware there were two different melodies. I'd heard both tunes, but I never associated this one with the words to Away in a Manger. I've only ever heard it sung (sang?) to this melody.






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