Away in a Manger arranged for piano quartet with a re-harmonization for the final verse.
Away in a Manger
Away in a Manger is a popular Christmas song published originally sometime in the later 19th century and performed throughout the world. In England, it is considered one of the two most popular carols of all time; a 1996 poll ranked it as a tie for second place. To begin with, many thought it was written by Martin Luther, but now the song is considered to be absolutely American. The most common musical arrangements are by William Kirkpatrick (1895) and James R. Murray (1887). The melody was first published, as "Luther's Cradle Hymn", by James R. Murray. Then, came a confusing series of explanations about how Martin Luther wrote the song. Murray even went so far as to suggest that Luther wrote it for his children. As a result, the song has become known as simply “Mueller.” Nobody knows who this “Mueller” actually is, but the name stuck.
By the 1880’s the cradle song was being performed in church. By the 1990’s the song was becoming the most popular Christmas song of all time. It was sung in school, in church, and at home by nearly everyone.
Other musical settings
The first musical setting published with the lyrics appeared in the Little Children's Book for Schools and Families (1885). The title was "Away in a Manger". This edition is the first one not to attribute the song to Martin Luther. Charles H. Gabriel was the first arranger to present the third verse. He also composed and published a large number of different arrangements of the song. In one of his settings, he supplies a chorus for each verse with "asleep" sung in canon. Another prevalent preparation uses the lyrics to the melody "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton". Yet another arrangement uses the lyrics to an old Normandy carol.
Level: Early Intermediate