Tag Archives: Away in a Manger Anglican version

Away in a Manger, Kirpatrick tune, on the staff

Away in a Manger_kirkpatrickAway in a Manger

I had many teachers email me to ask if I would post this version. It turns out that this tune is used in Canada and also with some of the other churches here in the US.  I also have readers in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand who use this tune! It is a small world when we are all united by music and the goal of sharing our gift of music with others. That is why I started this blog, to share and to get to know teachers from all over who take the time to write and let me know how much they enjoy a community of music teachers who like to share ideas. Thanks so much for your emails. It really means a lot to me!

It was no problem to post this because I was already using it  with one of my students who knew this tune.  He hasn’t learned 8th notes yet, but he came back after one week and could play it perfectly. (Before I sent him home with it, we had clapped and tapped the rhythm using Kodaly syllables, ta, ta, ti-ti and also the words of the song.) He hinted he wanted one that was harder. So this morning, bright and early I was at the computer working on a late elementary level with hands together. I hope it will be “hard” enough, but not too hard! You just don’t find this tune in Christmas books here in the US.

By now, if you are starting to get confused by all the versions, I certainly understand, because I am, too.  In my files, I have about 7 or 8 versions and tunes of Away in a Manger and it is very easy to get mixed up. I am going to start calling this the Kirkpatrick version, because, after all, he wrote the tune and deserves the credit.

Of course, the great majority of my readers want the other version, the one that most of the children here in the US know.  If you want the more popular melody, the one most well known in the US, I posted the pre-reading and elementary levels  last year. Do a search or check  here for the elementary level and here for the pre-reading level.

If you are looking for more difficult arrangements of Christmas music, there are some great Christmas books with wonderful arrangements from all the publishing companies. There are some books with all secular Christmas music, too, if that fits the needs of your students. There are also carefully graded Hanukkah books, too. All of my students who want one get a Christmas or holiday  book and I think it is the highlight of the year for them.


Filed under Christmas, Holiday Music

Pre-reading Away in a Manger, Anglican version

Away in a MangerPR_kirkpatrickAway in  a Manger

There are several tune settings for this well-known Christmas carol. Last year I posted the version that is the most popular version here in the United States.  But there are other versions, including the one I am posting today.   This version is also the one most often used in the UK, according to my friends from England. If you are from the Anglican tradition, this is probably the version you know.  

I did some research on this tune. For some reason I thought maybe it was an old English tune, maybe even a folk song. I was surprised to discover the tune was actually composed by a member of the Methodist church here in the United States. How it became the tune used by the Church of England is probably an interesting story! Maybe it was chosen because it is really a lovely melody and very child friendly. Spanning just over one octave, it is easy to sing and play. The lilting melody has no dotted notes and fits the words perfectly. The harmony is charming and I hope to add a teacher duet one of these days.

I tried very hard not to put this in C position, but it really made no sense to force it into another key when the key of C  works out so well for pre-reading this melody. I did have to add a hand crossing to play the A above middle C, but I don’t think that will be too much of a problem if your student started lessons a few months ago. I hope the diagram at the top will help with that.

For those of you who always ask, yes, I drew the pictures including the manger, the hand, and the keyboard in Photoshop. I  engraved the score in Finale.

I have a traditional  score that I’m using with some of my students that is exactly like this, except the notes are on the grand staff . If there is enough interest from the UK, I will also post it here.


Filed under Holiday Music, Pre-reading, Preschool Music Resources