Monday, 21 December 2009

Away in a Manger

One of the best-known and best-loved of all Christmas carols is Away in a Manger.  The most popular tune for this carol is called Cradle Song and it was written by William J Kirkpatrick (1838-1921), who wrote a large number of hymn tunes and also wrote the words of several well-known hymns.

He was born in the parish of Errigal Keerogue in county Tyrone and emigrated from Ulster to America with his parents, Thompson Kirkpatrick and his wife Elizabeth Storey.  This was an Ulster-Scots family and both the Kirkpatrick and Storey families were of Scottish descent.

William J Kirkpatrick is therefore another of those Scotch-Irish hymnwriters who contributed so much to modern gospel hymnody.


  1. Hi Nelson,

    I like the blog. Or as they say in these parts: "I like the blog, so I do."

    I got the "Guid Wittins" owersettin' at the weekend. I think they took a wee bit o' liberty here an' there - dynamic equivalence rather than formal word-for-word equivalence, but a nice read nevertheless. Glad they kept the Virgin in Virgin Birth. Our freen' Wm Smith in his Braid Scots NT plumped for maiden which, IMHUSO, leaves the door open a bit.

    Fair fa' ye!

    P/s You might remember that we spoke for a few moments in Drum in the summer at the band parade. You confessed to being an Independent Methodist, thus earning yourself a sympathetic Calvinist smile from this admirer-with-some-qualifications of Wesley.

  2. Colin - I remember the conversation at Drum very well. Perhaps I was predestined to be a Wesleyan! Good to hear from you.