Away in a Manger Set

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Away in a Manger

Away in a MangerTwo Famous Tunes

Arranged for lever or pedal harp by Anne Sullivan


Like many Christmas carols, the text to “Away in a Manger” has been set to music by multiple composers. These two famous tunes are often identified as “the English one” and “the German one,” but interestingly both were written by American composers.

William Kirkpatrick, a Pennsylvania native, was trained in Philadelphia and worked at various times as a composer, carpenter, military Fife-Major, and church organist. His tune “Cradle Song” was written in 1895 for a musical production called “Around the World with Christmas.” This is the “English” tune for “Away in a Manger,” commonly identified in hymnals as the tune “Kirkpatrick.”

The “German” tune for “Away in a Manger” was said to be an original melody by Martin Luther. In recent years, this has been viewed as a 19thcentury marketing ploy that sought to take advantage of the 400th anniversary of Luther’s birth in 1883. The tune is now credited to composer James R. Murray, born in Massachusetts. Murray worked as a public school music teacher, an editor for a publisher of church school texts and music, and composed many hymns and church songs.  He published a melody called “Luther’s Cradle Song” in an 1887 children’s songbook, which resulted in this setting of “Away in a Manger” being falsely credited to Luther. This tune is usually listed in hymnals as “Mueller.”

This arrangement contains both tunes. They are both in the same key (F Major), so you can play them independently or as a set.

They are intermediate level with no lever or pedal changes. The “Kirkpatrick” tune is 2 pages and the “Mueller” tune is 3 pages.

Click here to sample the first page of “Kirkpatrick.”

Click here to sample the first page of “Mueller.”

Perfect additions to any Christmas program!

  • Pam

    Is the Away in a Manger set available for purchase? There is no link or price given. I love the ability to ‘sample’ both. I hope to purchase them if possible.


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