|Away in a Manger - British version (Susan Boyle)|
|click image to open video page|
This is Britain's second most popular Christmas carol, according to Gallup Poll. Susan Boyle sings it at the Christmas Tree Lighting in Rockefeller Plaza New York, 2010.
James R. Murray composed the music for this poem in 1887, and eight years later, William J. Kirkpatrick composed a variation of the tune. The music on this video is the one most used in the UK, W.J. Kirkpatrick's version, while J.R. Murray's is the one used in America. If you want to listen to the American version click here.
Away in a manager is often the first carol that children are taught. Part of this Christmas lullaby was first published in 1884, though the carol is older. The publication credited Martin Luther himself with the authorship, claiming that it was the translation of an German song, but the fact is that the real author or composition date are unknown, although this carol is probably the result of different additions made in Britain through the 19th century, though the seed verses might be older.
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid 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.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.
To live with Thee there.
MANGER= /meɪndʒə/ A trough or box in a stable, barn, etc, from which horses or cattle feed (see picture)
CRIB= (also called CRADLE /kreɪdəl/) A bed with high sides for a young child or baby. (see picture)
LAID= (lay - laid - laid) To put in a low or horizontal position, to put down.
BRIGHT= Shining, full of light.
LIE= (lie - lay - lain) To be in a horizontal position. Careful: don't confuse LAY, past of the intrasitive verb "to lie" with the transitive verb TO LAY as seen above. Something lies, you lay something:
intransitive: lie - lay - lain (you lie down)
transitive: lay - laid - laid (you lay something down)
-intransitive- past: He was too tired, so he lay down and fell asleep.
-transitive- past: The baby was too tired, so she laid it down on the sofa.
-intransitive- present: Please, lie down on the sofa and let me give you a massage.
-transitive- present: Lay this towel on the grass and sit on it.
LORD JESUS= In the Bible, the word "Lord" is only used referring to God. Christians believe that Jesus is the incarnation of God, born in flesh to save us, so he can be rightly called (and is often called) "Lord Jesus".
HAY= Straw (dry grass) used for feeding cattle (see picture)
CATTLE= Domesticated bovine animals: cows, bulls and oxen. We can consider "cattle" an irregular plural form of "cow" or "bull", so it is used with a plural verb form (the cattle are...)
LOWING= (old-fashioned) To low is to moo (the sound cattle makes)
AWAKES= (formal) Wakes up.
NO CRYING HE MAKES= Doesn't cry.
THEE= (Old English) You (object pronoun, singular).
In Old English, THOU was the singular pronoun and YOU the plural pronoun, so these were the forms:
------ Subject forms:
Thou art (you are) /ðaʊ/
------ Object forms:
This is for me
for thee /ði:/
NIGH= /naɪ/ (Old English or poetical) Near.
THEE= (Old English) You (object form, see above)
CLOSE BY ME= Near me.
I PRAY= I beg you, I ask you; Please.
BLESS= Give divine protection.
THY= (Old English) Your (possessive adjective, singular)
TENDER= Soft and sweet, delicate, loving.
CARE= Protection. Close attention.