Sheet Music: Away in a Manger

TitleAway in a Manger
Alternate titlesCradle Song
ComposerWilliam J. Kirkpatrick (1838–1921)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyF major
Time signature3/4
Tempo80 BPM
Performance time1:15
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (49 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.1 MB)
Date added2009-11-22
Last updated2009-11-22
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.8 (average)
Christmas carols, Hymn tunes


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Sunday 22 November 2009

Want more? Away in a Manger (Cradle Song)

Melody by William J. Kirkpatrick

This is the tune to which “Away in a Manger” is most commonly set to in the United Kingdom. (In the US, the hymn is more often sung to the tune Mueller.) Originally titled “Cradle Song”, this tune was written by American musician William J. Kirkpatrick for the 1895 musical Around the World with Christmas. Kirkpatrick, like others before him, attributed the words of the hymn to Luther.

It seems that more than 40 different tunes have been written for “Away in a Manger”, and this multiplicity of settings can really become a source of confusion. There's even a story of a school teacher who had been teaching her children to sing the hymn to one tune, while the Sunday schools in her town were telling them to sing it to another. Both the day school and the Sunday school song books gave their tune as composed by Martin Luther. Which tune did Luther really write? Ironically, the answer is: neither!