Once in royal David's city


Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.

And, through all his wondrous childhood,
he would honor and obey,
love and watch the lowly maiden
in whose gentle arms he lay:
Christian children all must be
mild, obedient, good as he.

For he is our childhood's pattern,
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak and helpless,
tears and smiles like us he knew.
and he feeleth for our sadness,
and he shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that Child who seemed so helpless
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
with the oxen standing round,
we shall see him; but in heaven,
set at God's right hand on high;
when like stars his children crowned,
all in white shall wait around.


Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1848

Music: Irby (Henry John Gauntlett, 1805-1876)

Meter: 87 87 77

Hymnal, Year Number Tunes Other comments
Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861-1874 361 Irby  
The Anglican Hymn Book, 1868       
The Sarum Hymnal, 1869      
The Church Hymnal, 1871 (Hall & Whiteley) 233 Irby  
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Goodrich & Gilbert) 233 Irby  
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Tucker & Rousseau) 233 Irby  
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Hutchins) 233 Irby  
Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874 576 Irby  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1874 462 Irby  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Standard, 1875-1924 329 Irby  
A Church of England Hymn Book, 1879 616    
The Universal Hymn Book, 1885      
The Hymnal Companion, 1890 474 Irby  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Darlington) 540 Irby  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Parker) 540 Irby  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Hutchins) 540 Irby  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Tucker & Rousseau) 540 Irby  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Helfenstein) 540 Irby  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Messiter) 540 Irby  
The Yattendon Hymnal, 1900
     
Church Hymns, New Edition, 1903 635 Irby  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Edition, 1904 566 Irby  
The English Hymnal, 1906 605 Irby  
The Book of Common Praise, 1908 712 Irby  
The Hymnal 1916 349 Irby  
Church Hymnal for the Christian Year, 1917 Children's 49 Irby  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1919 631 Irby  
Church Hymnal Revised, 1920
(Hutchins)
605 Irby  
The Oxford Hymn Book, 1925 176 Irby  
Songs of Praise, 1925 435 Irby  
Songs of Praise, Enlarged Edition, 1931 368 Irby  
The Book of Common Praise, 1938 733 Irby  
The Hymnal 1940 236 Irby  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Revised, 1950 432 Irby  
The Mirfield Mission Hymn Book, 1955 206 Irby  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1960 624 Irby  
Anglican Hymn Book, 1965 107 Irby  
The Hymn Book 1971 112 Irby  
The Australian Hymn Book / With One Voice, 1977 237 Irby  
The Hymnal 1982 102 Irby  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard, 1983 046 Irby  
The New English Hymnal, 1985 034 Irby  
Hymns for Today's Church, second edition, 1988 067 Irby  
Church Family Worship, 1988 646 Irby  
Hymns Old & New, New Anglican Edition, 1996 403 Irby  
Common Praise (The Anglican Church of Canada), 1998 123 Irby  
Together in Song: The Australian Hymn Book II, 1999 312 Irby  
Sing Glory, 1999 359 Irby  
Complete Mission Praise, 2000 539 Irby  
Common Praise: Hymns Ancient & Modern, 2000 066 Irby  
Hymns Old & New, Complete Anglican Edition, 2000 521 Irby  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 2000 177 Irby  

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2003.