The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Babe! In Manger Lying

"Open-Air Carol"

For the Epiphany, January 6

Words: William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898)

Music: Joseph Barnby
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Meter: 76 76 76 76

Carol 676, Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New
(Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

1. O Babe, in manger lying,
    O Child, most fair to see,
The first fruits of the Gentiles
    By Star were led to Thee;
We now with joyful worship,
    Do haste to Bethl’hem town,
To greet Thee with Thy Mother,
    And humbly there fall down.

2. Full sweet the merry chanting,
    The angel-choirs do make,
With such for marching music,
    Who would not travel take?
Though wind be sharp and piercing,
    And snow lie deep tonight,
Much cheer and good awaits us,
    And Love shall warm us quite.

3. A goodly band we gather,
    And some are sick and sad,
While others are right merry,
    And sing, they be so glad:
But this dear Child, all sorrow
    Will kindly take away,
And crown the joyful hearted,
    With bliss that lasts for aye.

4. The Star o’er head burns brightly,
    And we go on apace;
And presently, are spying
    A mean and shameful place.
There come, we make low knocking,
    The shepherds ope the door,
And straightway Christ our Saviour
    We worship and adore.

5. Sweet Babe! most condescending,
    O by Thy spotless Birth,
Let Light arise in darkness,
    And Peace come to the earth:
Rest for the heavy-laden
    And joy for those who weep,
In Bethlehem of Jewry,
    Our God doth always keep.

Graphic Line

Sheet Music from Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

Sheet music from W. Chatterton Dix and Joseph Barnby, "Four Christmas Carols" (London: Novello, Ewer and Co. 1890), reprinted in The Musical Times and Singing Circular, Vol. 31, No. 574 (London: Novello, December 1, 1890), No. 1, p. 1.

O Babe! In Manger Lying-Dix-Barnby_4XmasCarols_1.jpg (138682 bytes)


Also appeared in W. Chatterton Dix, ed., Christmas Carols & Christmas Customs (No publisher, location or date; ca. 1870), #10, p. 3. There he wrote that the music was by Thomas Worsley Staniforth. Organist and Music-Master to Highgate School; late Organist of St. Paul‘s, Brighton. Unfortunately, he did not specify the name of the tune.

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