Away in a Manger

by Pentatonix

(3:40) Away in A Manger is an anonymous carol, transmitted via Lutheran émigrés to Pennsylvania, with a third verse written by John T McFarland (1851-1913). It first appeared in print in the US in 1885. A collection entitled Dainty Songs for Little Lads and Lasses mistakenly claimed it to have been ‘composed by Martin Luther for his children and still sung by German mothers to their little ones’.

The tune, Cradle Song, is by William James Kirkpatrick. While the words may not be scripture, “The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes/But little lord Jesus no crying he makes”, the song’s imagery remains a fundamental feature of childhood’s Christmas.

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 bedside till morning is nigh.
Be near me, lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
Close by me for ever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

Pentatonix is an American a cappella group from Arlington, Texas with vocalists Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kristin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola and Matt Sallee (new to the group in 2017 as he replaced Avi Kaplan as bass).

Precious Lord, you came to earth as a baby, to live among us and show us the way. Bless all the dear children around the world and may all of us make a promise in our hearts today to help each child live in peace and kindness and plenty for all their daily needs.

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