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Child in a Manger

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Luke 2:16 KJV

About the Song

Words by Sally DeFord
Music by Katherine Wright

This lullaby is my Christmas Card Carol for 2021. I patterned the words after an existing carol, which proved to be a big mistake. After finishing them, I kept re-writing the existing melody and just couldn’t seem to get it out of my head. So Katherine provided this beautiful setting. Not the first time she’s bailed me out! 😉 The funny thing is, I now have trouble remembering which carol I used as a rhythmic pattern.

Much of our Christmas music is based on tradition and imagination, and this is no exception. I don’t know if the angels “sang” that night–the scriptures use the word “saying,” which sounds like a lovely heavenly choral reading. Or maybe a recitative. When I imagine it, though, it’s a full-blown song, probably written by Handel. Did the angels really tend the sheep while the shepherds hurried off to see the babe in a manger? More of my imagination. 🙂

The song is available for Solo, Duet, or SATB choir. The instrumental part was first written for viola (which is what you hear in the recording) but since violists are a rare breed it’s also available below for cello, or for other C instruments.

These scores were not produced using Personal Composer, so no .pc files are available.


Spotify, Soundcloud (inc. free downloads)


Child in a Manger (feat. Allyse Smith Taylor and James Loynes)


Click Soundcloud download icon to download the free track for personal use.
Recording featuring vocals by Allyse Smith Taylor and James Loynes:

Accompaniment Track:

Piano Track:

Apple Music, Amazon

These files may be copied/shared in any quantity in any physical format unless otherwise noted. They may not be re-sold or offered for download.


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Baby so lovely and pure
Lord of the heaven and earth
Laid in a manger to rest
Dreaming in slumber blessed
Sleep while the chorus above us is swelling
And legions are telling great tidings of joy
Sleep while the angels sing carols so sweet
Child in a manger, sleep

Born as the shepherds abide
Keeping their flocks in the night
Laid in a manger to rest
Cradled in tenderness
Sleep while they haste through the darkness to find thee
And kneel down beside the in wonder and awe
Sleep while the angels watch over their sheep
Child in a manger, sleep

Born of the mercy of God
Gift of His infinite love
Laid in a manger to rest
Sleep, Son of Holiness
Sleep while the starlight around us is falling
And angels are calling, “Come worship the King!”
Sleep while the Father enfolds us in peace
Child in a manger, sleep

If you have questions, please check the FAQ
If you don't find your answer there, feel free to post your question here. 🙂


  1. Dell Krauchi

    Good day,

    Absolutely wonderful arrangement and a real blessing to listen to!

    Thank you!

  2. john clements

    Its so beautiful a heavenly Lullaby. From The Heavens the Angels & earth to the Christ child Lord of all.

  3. Bonnie Arnold

    Our community all-faith choir is singing the SATB arrangement with violin on Dec. 10, 2023. It is gorgeous, Sally. Thank you for sharing your talent. I’m grateful that we can afford your arrangements, you are very generous. Merry Christmas.

  4. Jan Clayton

    Beautiful! I was asked to accompany a family in our ward to sing this. Never disappointed in DeFord arrangements; the ward choir is singing one for Thanksgiving (For the Beauty) and another for Christmas (He is Born, the Child Divine)

  5. Janiece

    Is there a soprano alto version of this song yet? I would love that to sing this year!

  6. Ingrid Scholzen

    I love this song ! He is telling the story of christmas 🙂

  7. Kari Arnett

    Love this beautiful song! Do you know of a recording of this song done with SATB parts?

  8. Megan Knudsen

    This is so lovely. I love singing through your music and go through the vocal solos fairly often, but have somehow passed this song. And what a shame. There’s something about it that’s so…raw. It’s feels simple and reverent and still full of true joy. I love it so much, thank you both.

  9. Bev Houston

    Love this song. Do you think it would work with a tenor soloist, violist and cellist?


    Love this song! thank you so much.

  11. Michele Bauer

    I love this song! The lyrics are wonderful and I will add your daughter to my prayers! God bless you dear SallyDeFord and family!

  12. Holly Olsen

    Beautiful song! Thank yo so much for continuing to share your talent! Would love to see an SA Duet.

  13. Alma Martineau

    Here’s a beautiful recording of this song with Voice, viola, and piano. Some slight changes to words and melody.


  14. Cheri

    I have sung a number of your pieces as a solo over time and really like the challenge of some and always the messages and the melodies. This one, Child In A Manger, I am doing this Christmas Eve day for several services and those who have heard it thus far really love it. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us. Have a very special and blessed Christmas.

  15. Karen Hansen

    Another gem Sally. My family is going to be on a cruise on Christmas and our whole family is learning to sing this. Everyone in my family has exceptional voices except me but I when I hear an amazing song, I know it. We have sung many Sally DeFord songs at Christmas. Thank you for all you do. You truly have a special gift.

  16. Trudy Robinson

    I am singing Child in a manger Sunday. Once you sing this song, your heart is SO touched, I find myself humming and singing all day long. Thank you, for sharing your wonderful talent with so many. Truly the Spirit speaks to your heart as you write such inspirational music. Thank you again, Trudy

  17. Steven

    Very nice sound and as always you are blessed for sharing. Thank you

  18. Travis Combs

    Child in a Manger is truly wonderful. Thank you for sharing this amazing gift. Can you kindly please provide the duet as a Personal Composer (.pc) file?

    • Sally DeFord

      These scores were not produced using Personal Composer, so no .pc files are available. 🙁

  19. Peg Branvold

    Such a beautiful Christmas lullaby. It brings to the mind a powerful visual of that peaceful night and the hope and blessing of what was to come. I also love the visual of the Father enfolding all of them, Mary, Joseph and Jesus in peace. It brings peace to my often challenging life. Thank you for this gift.

  20. Joel Anderson

    Great Collaboration by all. I am constantly amazed by the messages and arrangements you produce. You are definitely guided from on high! Thank you for sharing!!

  21. Carol Lattier

    simply lovely.


    love it so much.. thank you


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