Author Topic: Add: Away In A Manger (various versions)


Posted - 14 Jun 03 - 09:19 am

Courtesy of Mary in Kentucky:

Away In A Manger (1)

This is the best known version in the UK

Away In A Manger (2)

Mary tells me that this is the best known version in the USA

Away In A Manger (3)

A traditional Basque tune in the Phrygian mode

Away In A Manger (4)

To the tune of Robert Burns' "Flow Gently Sweet Afton" Mary tells me that the tune is by J. E. Spilman, but Lesley Nelson's Contemplator site says that it's by Alexander Hume. I've no idea which is right.

For now, I've included the notes that Mary provided me with under Away In A Manger (1) and linked the other entries to that.

I will update them as/when more information becomes available.

Edited By Ed - 14/06/2003 12:35:19

Mary in Kentucky

Posted - 14 Jun 03 - 11:34 am

Thanks, Ed.

For clarification, on #4, Flow Gently Sweet Afton, I got the tune at the Levy site here and the sheetmusic says tune 'composed and arranged' by Spilman. Maybe someone can tell us if it is traditional.

As far as #2 being the most popular in the's the one we always sang as children when we went caroling. I know, because I was often the designated "starter" and knew to start that one on a high note so we had room to come down without running out of notes!

masato sakurai

Posted - 14 Jun 03 - 02:48 pm

The tune ("Flow Gently Sweet Afton") to "Away in a Manger" (4) was composed by Jonathan Edwards Spilman in 1838, who "was born in 1812 in Greenville, Ky., became a lawyer, then a minister, and died in 1896 in Flora, Ill." (The Book of World-Famous Music, by James J. Fuld, 5th ed., 2000, p. 228). It has sometimes been erroneously attributed to Alexander Hume, whose version has a different melody. Joseph Hislop (tenor) sang and recorded the Alexander Hume version (1885) in 1922 as "Afton Water," which can be heard on The Star o' Rabbie Burns (Moidart Music Group MIDCD 004). It was also sung by Charlotte MacInnes (rec. 1939), whose recording is at California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties.

I have another (5th) "Away in a Manger" tune, which is in Carols for Choirs 1 (Oxford UP, 1961). It is set to a traditional Normandy tune.

T:Away In A Manger (5)
B:Carols for Choirs 1 (Oxford UP, 1961, p. 3)
C:Traditional Normandy tune
w:A-way in a_ man-ger, no_ crib for a bed,
w:The_ lit-tle Lord Je-sus laid_ down his sweet head.
w:The stars in the_ bright sky looked_ down where he lay,
w:The_ lit-tle Lord_ Je-sus a-sleep on the hay.

Edited By masato sakurai - 14/06/2003 15:33:45

masato sakurai

Posted - 14 Jun 03 - 03:31 pm

On the second tune, James J. Fuld (The Book of World-Famous Music, 5th ed., p, 121) wrote:
The common music (and words) were included in James R. Murray, Dainty Songs for Little Lads and Lasses, for Use in the Kindergarten (Cincinnati), copyrighted on May 7, 1887. The song appears on p. 110 as "Luther's Cradle Hymn (Composed by Martin Luther for his children, and still sung by German mothers to their little ones."* NYPL. [Richard S.] Hill [in "Not So Far Away in a Manger" in Notes, Dec., 1945, p. 12] believes that Murray was the composer of the music. He [i.e. Murray] was born in Andover, Mass., in 1841-42, and later went to Cincinnati to edit the Musical Visitor for The John Church Co.; it is believed that he died in 1904.
*"This [note] seems to have been the source for the erroneous attribution of the song to Luther in many later collections." (Raymond F. Glover, ed., The Hymnal 1982 Companion, Church Hymnal Corporation, Vol. III A, 1994, p. 101)


Posted - 14 Jun 03 - 06:14 pm


Your Normandy tune is the same as Mary's Basque one.

I've no idea which is the correct location, but the fact that the Phrygian mode is generally associated with Spanish (flamenco) music, would probably incline towards the Basque origin.

masato sakurai

Posted - 14 Jun 03 - 06:30 pm

Thanks, Ed, I should have revised my own carol index (where the two were entered separately).

Mary in Kentucky

Posted - 14 Jun 03 - 06:37 pm

Masato, I think your 5th tune is the same as the Basque tune (#3) above. There are just two notes different on the word "looked."

I didn't know Spilman was born in Greenville, KY. I have friends there. (It's also where the Everly Brothers are Muhlenburg County "along the Green River where Paradise lay.")

My source for "Flow Gently Sweet Afton" was at the Levy site. I can't link to the page, but you can put "afton" in the search there and see the music.

masato sakurai

Posted - 14 Jun 03 - 06:55 pm

Mary, the source for Spilman's bio in Fuld's book is Earl R. Hoover, "J.E. Spilman," in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort, Ky., July, 1968, p. 222.

masato sakurai

Posted - 15 Jun 03 - 02:27 am

I've just found Hill's article online, which is probably the most comprehensive history of this carol. Unfortunately, the facsimile pages attached are not clear enough.
"Not So Far Away In A Manger: Forty-one Settings of an American Carol"
By Richard S. HILL
Music Library Association "Notes"
December, 1945
Second Series, Vol. III, No. 1

masato sakurai

Posted - 15 Jun 03 - 03:09 am

The earliest version (from Hill's article) is:

T:Away In A Manger (St. Kilda)
B:Little Children's Book: For Schools and Families (Philadelphia, 1885)
C:J.E. Clark
w:A - way in a man-ger, no_ crib for His(?) bed,
w:The lit-tle Lord Jes-us laid_ down His sweet head.
w:The_ stars in the sky_ looked_ down where He lay,
w:The lit-tle Lord Jes-us a - sleep on the hay.

Mary in Kentucky

Posted - 15 Jun 03 - 03:25 am

That's a great link! I'll copy it before it disappears!

As far the facsimile pages...I opened the first one in my graphics program, increased it to 130%, and I could read it OK, not great. That's about the limit of being able to increase it while retaining some legibility.

Thanks for the tune. I'll add that to my collection.

masato sakurai

Posted - 16 Jun 03 - 12:30 pm

I have no idea on the tune for #3 whether it is Basque or Normandy. No. 22 on the list in Hill's article seems to be this one:
22. Carols ancient and modern. Book 1. London, Morgan and Scott, Ltd.; New York) Edward Schuberth & Co., cigil. [No. 3: adapted to An old Normandy carol, arranged by E. P(ettman).]

masato sakurai

Posted - 12 Aug 03 - 10:15 am

"Not So Far Away In A Manger: Forty-one Settings of an American Carol" (by Richard S. Hill) has moved to this new address.

masato sakurai

Posted - 31 Aug 03 - 06:33 am

J.B. Herbert's composition is found in 101 Best Songs. The author's name is erroneously written as "Martin Luther."

T:Cradle Hymn
C:J.B. Herbert
S:The One Hundred and One Best Songs (The Cable Company, 1915)
F|F E G|G F A|G F D|C2 A|c d c|
w:1.A-way in a man-ger, No crib for a bed, The lit-tle Lord
w:2.The cat-tle are low-ing, The Ba-by a-wakes, But lit-tle Lord
A F C|D F G|F2 F|E G C|F A F|
w:Je-sus laid down His sweet head; The stars in the heav-en Looked
w:Je-sus, No cry-ing He makes, I love Thee, Lord Je-sus! Look
E G C|F2 A|c d c|A F C|D F G|F2|]
w:down where He lay, The lit-tle Lord Je-sus, A-sleep on the hay.
w:down from the sky, And stay by my cra-dle Till morn-ing is nigh.

Edited By masato sakurai - 07-Feb-2004 04:09:31 PM

masato sakurai

Posted - 31 Aug 03 - 06:52 am

CHECK-LIST OF ORIGINAL SETTINGS AND ADAPTATIONS (From Richard S. HILL's article linked to above):

1. Little children's book [cf.text.] Philadelphia, J. C. File, [June 16,1 1885. [J. E. Clark]

2. James R. Murray: Dainty songs for little lads and lasses. Cincinnati, The John Church Co., [c.May 7, 1887]

3. Sullivan, arr. by A. Beirly: Luther's Cradle Hymn. [Copyright claimed by Miss A. Eveline Smith, Jan. 3, 1891. Only proof sheet found, together with a group of other sheets, obviously intended for a "Christmas service." Although the melody is presumably adapted from Sir Arthur S. Sullivan, it has not been identified.]

4. Hubert Platt Main: Away in a manger. [c. Oct. 23, 1891 by The Biglow Main Co. Only proof sheet found.]

5. John Bunyan Herbert: The joyful story; a new Christmas entertainment for Sunday schools. Chicago, S. Brainard's Sons Co., [Sept. 10J 1891.

6. Fred. Schilling: G. Schirmer's Collection of carols, No. 47. New York, G. Schirmer, [c.Dec. 4, 1891. 8vo edition.]

7. Elsie W. Leason: Luther's cradle song. [c.Feb. 10, 1892 by W. P. Dunn & Co., Chicago. Music not found.]

8. Ernest H. Jackson: Cradle song. Boston, Oliver Ditson Co., [c.June 3, 1892. Folio sheet music.]

9. Charles H. Gabriel: Gabriel's Vineyard songs. Louisville, Ky., Guide Printing and Publishing Co., c1892. ["C".]

10. William J. Kirkpatrick: Around the world with Christmas. A Christmas exercise. Words arranged by E. E. Hewitt. Music by John R. Sweney and Wm. J. Kirkpatrick. Cincinnati, Cranston & Curts, [c.Dec. 9,1 1895.

11. Charles E. Neal: Sunny songs for sweetest singers, No. 2. Marion, Ind., Neal Brothers, c1899. [No. 26: "Mel., C. E. Neal. Acc., J. M. Driver, D.D."]

12. E. S. Lorenz: [only proof sheet found, filed Sept. 18, 1899 by E. S. Lorenz, together with other sheets which probably form the Sunday school service, The Chrijimas Peace Convention.]

13. E. 0. Excell: Make his praise glorious for the Sunday school and church. Chicago, E. 0. Excell, c1900. [No. 156: composed by Charles H. Gabriel. "Copyright, 1896 (?), by Chas. H. Gabriel, E. 0. Excell, owner."] But cf. no. 9 and discussion in text.

14. William J. Kirkpatrick: Sacred songs for little voices. Chicago, Hope Publishing Co., c1900 by Henry Date. [No. 48: composed by Chas. H. Gabriel. At foot of page: "Music copyrighted, 1899, by Henry Date. Used by per."]

15. Emanuel Schmauk: The story of the Christ-child. A complete service for the Christmas Festival of the Sunday School. Service arranged by Rev. A. Steimle. Music composed by Emanuel Schmauk. New York, The New York Lutheran Book and Music Bureau, c1902.

16. The life hymnal; a book of song and service for the Sunday school. Boston, Universalist Publishing House, c1904. [p. 58: adapted to J. E. Spilman's Flow gently, sweet Alton.]

17. J. H. Meredith: Children's praise, no. 1. New York, Tullar-Meredith Co., c1905. (No. 38, by Meredith, has separate notice: "Copyright, MCM, by Tullar-Meredith Co."]

18. Charles H. Gabriel: The Counselor. [A Sunday school service.] Chicago, Chas. H. Gabriel, c1906.

19. Mrs. Crosby Adams: The Birth of Christ. Told in song. A cantata for church or school ... Compiled from "Christmas-time songs and carols" and other published carols. Words by Edith Hope Kinney. Music by Mrs. Crosby Adams. Chicago, Clayton F. Summy Co., c1909. [Separate copyright notice under this setting, "Copyright, 1907, by Crosby Adams;" earlier edition not identified.]

20. Edward M. Fuller: Hymns for the Kings' children. Philadelphia, The Judson Press, c1910.

21. E. C. Cronk: Hymnal for the Sunday school. Columbia, S. C., The Lutheran Board of Publication, cigio. [No. 22: Music by C. Armand Miller.]

22. Carols ancient and modern. Book 1. London, Morgan and Scott, Ltd.; New York) Edward Schuberth & Co., cigil. [No. 3: adapted to An old Normandy carol, arranged by E. P(ettman).]

23. Nellie A. Liscomb, C. J. Kinne, and W. J. Kirkpatrick: Sunday-school joy bells. [N.p.], Nazarene Publishing Co., c1912. [No. 133: Mrs. Lettie Moncton.]

24. George F. Rosche: joy-bells of Christmas. A Christmas service for the Sunday school. Chicago, Geo. F. Rosche & Co., C1913. [Adds a refrain sung to the word "Lullaby."]

25. B. E. Warren and A. L. Byers: junior hymns. Anderson, Ind., Gospel Trumpet Co., * c1914. [A. L. Byers]

26. Harold Lewars: Hymns and songs for the Sunday school. Philadelphia, The Lutheran Publication Society, c1914.

27. E. S. Lorenz and Ira B. Wilson: His worthy praise; a collection of Sunday school songs. Dayton, Ohio, Lorenz Publishing Co., C1915. [No. 176: composed by Ira B. Wilson. At foot of page, a separate notice reads: Copyright 1914, by Lorenz Publishing Co., in "Christmas Memories."]

28. Charles H. Gabriel: Rodeheaver's Sunday school songs. Chicago, The Rodeheaver Co., n.d. [No. 190: setting by H. A. Henry. Separate notice: Copyright 1915, by Homer A. Rodeheaver in "The Star of Light."]

29. Carrie B. Adams and Lillie A. Faris: Songs for Children. Cincinnati: The Standard Publishing Co., c1916. [p. 125: tune, Koschat's "Verlassen bin ich," arranged by C.B.A.)

30. Kitty Cheatham: A nursery garland woven by Kitty Cheatham. New York, G. Schirmer, Inc., c1917. [p. 149: setting Arranged by W. L. Wright; but melody not identified. Same melody published and copyrIgbted in 1922 as a Unison song, words by Martin Luther; music by Wm. Lyndon Wright in Octavo series, no. 18, by The Arthur P. Schmidt Co., Boston. ]

31. Father Finn's carol book. 60 Christmas songs and carols, old and new, selected from the repertory of the Paulist Choristers. Boston, C. C. Birchard & Co., [c.Nov. 26J 1917. [p. 14: Words credited outright to Samuel Mack; music, an unidentified French Noel.]
Standard Songs, No. 4. Christmas carols, ancient and modern. Boston, C. C. Birchard, [c.Dec. 21J 1917. ["English text by Samuel Mack;Music, same French No6 as above.]

32. Jessie L. Gaynor: Sacred songs for little children. Cincinnati, The John Church Co., c1919. [No. 24]

33. Thurlow Lieurance: Away in a manger. Lullaby. Solo or duet. [Issued separately in series of 28 Christmas Songs by various composers.] Philadelphia, Theodore Presser Co., c1920.

34. J. F. Ohl: Away in a manger. One of five carols in octavo leaflet, No. 6897, G. Schirmer's Christmas Carol Annual, No. 16, New York, G. Schirmer, Inc., c1920.

35. Edith Lovell Thomas: A first book in hymns and worship. Cincinnati, The Abingdon Press, c1922. ("Source of melody unknown; arr. by Lois Bailey, 1921." The melody given-in D flat major, nine-eight time-has not been identified; neither has it been used in any other of these publications.]

36. A Christmas surprise; cantata; words by Elsie Duncan Yale and others, music by J. Lincoln Hall and others, arr. by C. W. Baker, Jr. Philadelphia, Hall-Mack Co., 1922. [Not located.]

37. Christmas carols. Number two. Ft. Wayne, Ind., Parish Press, c1923. [Adapted to "Home, sweet home"]

38. Louis Edgar Johns: Fourteen new Christmas songs and carols, Op. 39-Op. 40. Boston, C. C. Birchard & Co., 1928. [p. 3: Cradle Hymn, Op. 39, No. 3.1

39. Arthur W. Clarke: Away in a manger, (Carol for Christmas). London, Stainer & Bell, Ltd.; New York, The Galaxy Music Corp., c1935. [No. 66 in series of small leaflets, entitled Christmas Carols.]

40. Gerhard Schroth: Away in a manger. Chicago, Neil A. Kjos Music Co., 1940. [Selected octavo series, chorus for mixed voices.]

41. Bruno Huhn: Cradle hymn. New York, G. Schirmer, Inc., 1941. [Issued in G. Schirmer's Choral church music, 8vo, in separate arrangements for unison chorus, SSA, and SATB, all with piano or organ accompaniment.]

masato sakurai

Posted - 26 Oct 03 - 09:03 am

From No. 13 on the list above (E.O. Excell, Make His Praise Glorious For the Sunday School and Church, Chicago: E.O. Excell, Publisher, 1900, No. 156):

T:Luther's Cradle Hymn
C:Chas. H. Gabriel
B:E.O. Excell, Make His Praise Glorious, 1900, no. 156
N:Lyricist: "Martin Luther"; Composer: Chas. H. Gabriel, copyright, 1896
A|A3/2 G/ F|A3/2 G/ F|E D E|F2 F|G3/2 F/ E|
w:A-way in a man-ger, No crib for His bed, The lit-tle Lord
F D F|A G F|E2 A|A3/2 G/ F|A3/2 G/ F|
w:Je-sus Lay down His wee head; The stars in the heav-ens Look'd
E D E|F2 F|G3/2 A/ B|A3/2 G/ F|E F3/2 E/|D2||
w:down where He lay. The lit-tle Lord Je-sus, A-sleep on the hay.
A|A3-|A2 A|A3-|A2 d|c2 G|[1c2 B|B2 F|A2:|[2c2 A|d3-|d2|]
w:(Chorus)A-sleep,_ a-sleep,_ A-sleep, The Sav-ior, in a stall! Lord of all!_

Edited By masato sakurai - 07-Feb-2004 04:11:33 PM

masato sakurai

Posted - 01 Dec 03 - 07:18 am

James R. Murray's Dainty Songs for Little Lads and Lasses, for Use in the Kindergarten, School and Home (Cincinnati: John Church Co., 1887) can be seen online. "Luther's Cradle Hymn" is on p. 110.

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