The Story Behind Away In A Manger
"Away in a Manger" is a Christmas carol first published in the late nineteenth century and used widely throughout the English-speaking world. In Britain, it is one of the most beloved carols; a 1996 Gallup Poll ranked it joint second.
The popularity of the carol has led to many variants in the lyrics. The two most-common musical compositions are by William J. Kirkpatrick (1895) and James Ramsey Murray (1887).
The vast majority of early hymnals, including the earliest known to us, cite the words to German Protestant reformer, Martin Luther. Many go so far as to name the carol "Luther's Cradle Song" or "Luther's Cradle Hymn", to describe the English words as having been transposed from Luther.
The claim of Luther's authorship remained to be made well into the twentieth century, but it is now discarded as false for various reasons. For instance, no text in Luther's known writings corresponds to the carol. Also, no German text for the hymn has been discovered from before 1934, more than fifty years after the first English edition. That German lyrics read awkwardly and seem to be the result of a translation from the English original.
Biblical Inspiration of "Away In A Manger"
"And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." ~ Luke 2:7
"And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." ~ Luke 2:12
"And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger." ~ Luke 2:16
Our Favorite Performance of "Away In A Manger"
Collection of Popular Christmas Hymns and Carols:
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
The First Noel
Joy To The World
O Holy Night
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
O Come All Ye Faithful
Go Tell It On The Mountain
What Child Is This
O Little Town of Bethlehem
We Three Kings of Orient Are
Away in a Manger