Away In a Manger – Unterseher, arr.

SATB unaccompanied

A setting of the American tune by James Murray. From the introduction with its expression of the loneliness of giving birth away from home and safety, to the rocking motion and warmth of the harmonies of the verses, you will feel the tenderness and connection of mother and child.

Demo Recording by Matthew Curtis,

Purchase AWAY IN A MANGER from Reg’s web site


This setting uses the traditional words with the tune by James Murray, the one most familiar to American audiences. The introduction expresses the loneliness of giving birth away from home and safety. Listen for the rocking motion and warmth of the harmonies of the verses, and the tenderness of the connection of mother and child.


The first two verses should feel more like they are in one than in three, almost a slow barcarolle. In those verses, the rolling eights should stay steady, but allow yourself some natural easing up at the ends of the verses. In the last verse, allow yourself free rubato.


Away in a manger,
No crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head
The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes
I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side,
‘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


This entry was posted in Choral, Christmas, Difficulty Level, High school, Moderate, Sacred, SATB a capella and tagged by Reginald Unterseher. Bookmark the permalink.

About Reginald Unterseher

Reginald Unterseher is Music Director and Composer-in-Residence at Shalom United Church of Christ, Richland, Washington. His works are published by Oxford University Press, Walton Music, and through NW Choral Publishing at He is the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association’s “Composer of the Year” for 2013. Mr. Unterseher’s compositions are regularly performed throughout the world and have been featured at ACDA and MENC conventions in the US as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He currently serves as Repertoire & Standards Chair for Men’s Choirs for the Northwest Division of the American Choral Director’s Association, and is in demand as a choral and vocal adjudicator and clinician. Mr. Untereseher is a past Artistic Director of Consort Columbia (now Mid-Columbia Mastersingers), founder and past Chorus Master of Washington East Opera, and an active member of Male Ensemble Northwest.