The first time I remember being in a children’s Christmas program I sang ‘Away in a Manger,’ as a duet with a boy named Juddie Sweet. The church was pastored by my father in the small town of Clinton, Pa, about an hour out of Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania. A camp-meeting, appropriately called Clinton Camp, was in the same town. I was in several years of Christmas programs afterwards, but it is this one I remember best. I have never lost my love for this beautiful Christmas Carol, so beloved by little children for over a century.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. ~Luke 2:7
AWAY IN A MANGER – Unknown Author (1880’s)
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in 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 cradle ’til 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.