The popular Christmas Carol Away In A Manger was published in 1884 in Boston, Massachusetts with the heading “Luther’s Cradle Song”. It was later published in 1885 with simply Away In A Manger.
The earliest publication refers to Martin Luther, referencing his 400th birthday in 1883. The claim was that he composed the song for his children. However, the claim appears to be false. No records of the lyrics have ever been found among Luther’s work.
Regardless, the song has remained very popular since it’s beginnings. Away In A Manger appeared on the US chart twice, first by Reba McEntire and then Kenny Chesney. In 2013, popular TV series Glee covered the song and most recently Sadie Robertson recorded the song for her family’s Christmas album, Duck the Halls. And did you know Francis of Assisi gets credit for the first Nativity scene in 1223?
For unto us a child was born, far 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 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 side till morning is nigh.
Sweet bells they ring, they ring out the news today, That Christ was born, was born on Christmas day, 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 take us to Heaven to live with Thee there. Sweet bells they ring they ring out the news That Christ was born, was born on Christmas Day, That Christ was born, was born on Christmas day.