Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

This is a gentle Christmas hymn about the baby Jesus. 

The words were written by English-born, Canadian educated Methodist minister Joseph Simpson Cook (1859-1933).

With meter D, it is almost always set to the tune TEMPUS ADEST FLORIDUM. The composer is unknown, the tune is sourced from Piae Cantiones (1582). The tune is best known for being paired with Good King Wenceslas - but the examples below show that it can be presented very differently to suit this text.


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Solo singer with piano accompaniment, with some of "Infant Holy" in the middle.

Instrumental (keyboard) with lyrics projected


Gentle Mary laid her child
Lowly in a manger;
There He lay, the undefiled,
To the world a stranger:
Such a babe in such a place,
Can He be the Saviour?
Ask the saved of all the race
Who have found His favour.

Angels sang about His birth;
Wise men sought and found Him;
Heaven's star shone brightly forth,
Glory all around Him:
Shepherds saw the wondrous sight,
Heard the angels singing;
All the plains were lit that night,
All the hills were ringing.

Gentle Mary laid her child
Lowly in a manger;
He is still the undefiled,
But no more a stranger:
Son of God, of humble birth,
Beautiful the story;
Praise His name in all the earth,
Hail the King of glory!

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