What brilliant contributions we have been having from our wonderful volunteers over the past two weeks of Advent. Today it is my turn to pick our festive tune. On the week before Christmas, I thought ‘Away in a Manger’ would be perfect as the carol hiding behind today’s Advent door.
‘Away in a Manger’ always conjures up in my mind an image of extremely solemn school children concentrating intently on their Christmas play. It takes me back to the days of angels with tinsel halos, shepherds with tea towels tied round their heads and Father Christmases with cotton wool beards, all singing their hearts out to this well known tune. Geraldine Kaye depicts the hilarity and chaos of preparing for the school nativity perfectly in her story ‘Eight Days to Christmas‘ Home-made costumes, errant kings, miserable angels and a real baby portraying the baby Jesus capture all the magic and fun in waiting for Christmas Day.
When I was at infant school we were taught sign language to accompany the lyrics so that everyone could join in, impressing upon me and my peers from a very young age the inclusive power of music and performance.
‘Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.
The little lord Jesus lay down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where he lay.
The little lord Jesus asleep on the hay.’