Carol Origins: Once in Royal David’s City

The words to the carol “Once in Royal David’s City” were written by Mrs. C.F. Alexander ( 1818 – 1895 ), wife of the Bishop of Derry. It makes wonderful use of the English language to paint a picture of the events of the nativity. Mrs. Alexander wrote many poems for children, chiefly on religious subjects.

The music to “Once in Royal David’s City” was composed by H.J. Gauntlett. This carol is believed to have first been published in the early nineteenth century.

I’d personally like to revisit this as a literature lesson opportunity with the kids when they are older. 😀

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, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour holy.

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 cares when we are sad,
And he shares when we are glad.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle,
Is our Lord in heaven above:
And He leads His children on,
To the place where He is gone.

~ Information excerpted from http://www.carols.org.uk ~

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