Child in a Manger / Child in the Manger

This Christmas song was originally written in the in Scots Gaelic language as "Leanabh an aigh" by Mary M. Macdonald (1789-1872).

It was translated to English by Lachlan Macbean (1853-1931) and published in Songs and Hymns of the Gael (Edinburgh 1888).

In the original publication. it was set to the tune BUNESSAN, a traditional Gaelic melody with meter D which has been used Morning has Broken, Baptised in WaterChrist Be Beside Me and possibly other hymns.   The song has occasionally been set to other, as yet unnamed, tunes.


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Small group with piano, professional recording:

Congregation with piano:

Duet with band, professional recording (First Call):

Quartet with band, concert performance:

Choir, unaccompanied:

Instrumental - handbells with piano:

Instrumental - piano with flute, lyrics on-screen:


Child in the manger, infant of Mary,
Outcast and stranger, Lord of all,
Child who inherits all our transgressions,
All our demerits on Him fall.

Once the most holy child of salvation
Gently and lowly lived below.
Now as our glorious mighty Redeemer,
See Him victorious o’er each foe.

Prophets foretold Him, infant of wonder;
Angels behold Him on His throne.
Worthy our saviour of all our praises;
Happy forever are His own.

ABC Notation

C:Traditional tune
C:Child in the Manger / Morning Has Broken / Christ be Beside me / et al
C E G | c3 d3 B A G | A3 G3 C D E |
        G3 A3 G E C | D3-D3 G E G |
        c3 A3 G E C | C3 D3 E D E |
        G3 A3 D E D | C3-C3 z3    |]

Ref:  What is ABC

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