Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Away in a manger

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

At Jacqui’s church in Melbourne, Australia, they sing the song “AWAY IN A MANGER” differently than I had learned it as a kid. However, the kid I sit for was singing the version he had learned at his church in the US and it was the same version. So I did some investigating.

apparently there are several versions of the musical accompaniment:

The one I am familiar with is referred to as the “mueller” version..

James R. Murray (1887)

“the one most commonly printed in the U.S. is Murray’s, which is typically given the name “Mueller.” The first half of the melody is identical to the beginning of the second theme of Waltz #4, transposed down a fourth, in G’schichten aus dem Wienerwald, Op. 325 by Johann Strauss Jr., composed 19 years earlier.”


Composer: William J. Kirkpatrick (1895)

“The tune “Cradle Song” was written by William J. Kirkpatrick for the musical Around the World with Christmas (1895) and is an adaptation of the melody originally composed in 1837 by Jonathan E. Spilman to “Sweet Afton”.”

So according to this research, I’ve come to the conclusion that the version that I grew up with, as being older, and thus the original. Since I’m biased I should also add that the ‘other’ version I keep hearing sounds, how shall I put this, forced. To me, it is as if the song keeps trying to go forward and keeps falling back, whereas the version I sing is more triumphant, although probably more difficult to sing because I goes higher I think.

I suppose you could argue that the implied tune of “Home! Sweet Home!” is the correct version, and that the Mueller version is derivative of the waltz..

Anyway, I just thought this was all very interesting.

Merry Christmas!