Scripture Verse

She brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7


Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

Words: Ano­ny­mous, in Hym­nal for Pri­ma­ry Class­es, com­piled by Ed­win W. Rice (Phi­la­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia: Am­eri­can Sun­day School Un­ion, 1896), num­ber 141, alt.

Music: Kings­fold Eng­lish tune. Ar­ranged by Ralph Vaugh­an Will­iams, 1906 (🔊 pdf nwc).


Long, long ago in man­ger low,
Was cra­dled from above,
A lit­tle child, in whom God smiled,
A Christ­mas gift of love;
When hearts were bit­ter and un­just,
And cru­el hands were strong,
The noise He hushed with hope and trust,
And peace be­gan her song.

Where’er the Fa­ther’s Christ­mas gifts
Seem on­ly frost and snow,
And anx­ious stress and lone­li­ness,
And po­ver­ty and woe;
Straightway pro­vide a wel­come wide,
Nor won­der why they came;
They stand out­side our hearts and bide,
And knock in Je­sus’ name.

For trou­ble, cold, and drea­ry care
Are an­gels in dis­guise,
And greet­ed fair, with trust and pray­er,
As peace and love they rise;
They are the man­ger, wide and low,
In which a Christ child lies;
O wel­come Guest, Thy cra­dle nest
Is al­ways God’s sur­prise.