On the fourth Sunday in Advent, St. John’s usually presents the Christmas Pageant by the children of the parish, and our music offering today is in honor of this. Away in the Manger, played by Paul Loether on 12 string guitar, is a traditional Christmas Carol that appeared in children’s hymnals in 1885 and has been a favorite for children. There are two tunes associated with this carol, and both appear in our hymnal Worship and Rejoice. American, William J Kirkpatrick ( 1838-1921) composed Cradle Song, and the other tune is by James Murray (1841-1905). Paul plays both of these tunes for you in this recording.
The author of the text of Away in a Manger is unknown. It was referred to as Luther’s Cradle Song in early publications, attributing it to Martin Luther, but no real connection can be proven. The third verse, which was added later, is attributed to American John T. McFarland, secretary of
the Board of Sunday Schools, but this also is not certain. The words to this carol are so familiar, it is almost committed to memory and we at St. John’s have enjoyed hearing it played by the Cherub Bell Choir many times.
Please enjoy this peaceful Christmas carol and cradle song, played for us on guitar by Paul Loether.
Written by Darlene James