Away in a Manger

New musical setting by Fen Frehner for SATB and piano or harp

Text attributed to: Anonymous or Martin Luther (v. 1-2), John T. McFarland (1892) (v. 3) 


There are many different melodies for "Away in a Manger" - I think I've heard more than 10 musical settings including one in a minor key.  This is a "lullaby" setting, in 6/8 time to present a two-pulse feel (back and forth, like rocking a baby) in two groups of three rather than a 3-beat feel; although the song is slow enough to direct the eighth notes.

The accompaniment is for piano or harp.  For accompanists, I recommend using the 8.5"x11" version that can be downloaded below and printed because it is larger and the music can lay flat so that there are no page turns.

The soprano part has a fairly high tessitura (range within which most notes of a vocal part fall), so it can be a little high for some sopranos.  I'm reluctant to lower it because I like the Db and Eb keys for this song.

The 6.875"x10.5" choral booklet sheet music may be purchased above by selecting the desired quantity, clicking the "Add to Cart" button, and following the checkout process.  A low-resolution version of the sheet music may be downloaded below.

If you would like to purchase the audio recording (vocals by Matthew Curtis, piano by Fen Frehner) or accompaniment used in the sheet-music video, please contact me. Excellent rehearsal tracks are available above.


1. Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;The stars in the heavens looked down where he lay,The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
2. The cattle are lowing; the baby awakes,But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.I love thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the skyAnd stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.
3. Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stayClose 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.
Text attributed to: Anonymous or Martin Luther (v. 1-2), John T. McFarland (1892) (v. 3)
Related Terms, Tags, and Topics: Away in a Manger, William J. Kirkpatrick, Christ, Christmas, carol, new, original, music, Fen Frehner, Matthew Curtis, lullaby, choral, choir, piano, harp, beautiful, pretty, SATB.  Alternative lyrics include: stars in the bright sky, poor baby wakes.