Easy Guitar Christmas Songs—Away In A Manger—Chords, Melody, Guitar Duet, Standard Notation, Tab, Lyrics

Updated on January 12, 2017

The Rhythm

I recently visited another internet site, and someone asked the question "what is the rhythm pattern for this song". With this format, the rhythm pattern is clearly defined. There is no need to rely on lyrics to see where the chords fall. Simply, play the notated pattern and count the measures. Two bars of G Major, followed by one bar of C Major, then one bar of G Major, etc. This is so easy to work with!

I created the strumming pattern from the time signature. Beat one is a quarter note rhythm slash, beats two and three, two eighth note rhythm slashes each. Eighth notes simply split the quarter notes into two equal pieces and are played twice as fast as the quarter note.

The strum direction is down down-up down-up. Once again, keep your strum hand moving in a strict eighth note pattern, but miss the upstroke on beat one.

The Melody

Based entirely in the key of G Major, the melody contains one sharp: F. In this song, the F♯ is always in the same place: fourth fret, fourth string, even though the sharp in the key signature is an octave higher (on the F line in the treble clef). Sometimes this is a hard concept for students to grasp: the fact that, no matter what octave the F is in, it is always sharp (unless it is canceled out by a natural sign). Your ear would come into play here. The F natural would sound wrong.

As in any melody, try to play this in time. Count correctly, do not rush. Give all notes their full value. As in all the other arrangements (and for that matter, anything you play), each part should sound great as a stand-alone part, rhythm and melody. Enjoy!!!

Play Along Track

The play along backing track has a five beat count-in on the kick (bass) drum. Count: 1 2 3 1 2, then begin playing the melody from the lead-in note in measure one. The track goes around three times. The second time the drums enter and on the third time the strings come in.

Guitar Duet

Once again, in order to keep everything as simple as possible, I have followed the same format: rhythm guitar on the first staff, melody guitar on the second and third staves. The song, like many other Christmas songs is in three four time. Three beats to a measure and the quarter note gets one beat. I drill my students on this all the time. Treble clef, key signature, time signature, always in that order. All guitar music is written in the treble clef. The key signature, in this case, is G Major-Em, a very popular key for guitarists. The first staff, the rhythm slashes, (see In The Style Of Runaway Train, for a complete analysis of rhythm slashes), is non-pitched notation. The slashes do not move up and down on the staff, therefore, there is no need for a key signature. The melody staff is standard notation (the pitches move up and down with the melody). The third staff is the tablature that corresponds to the standard notation. Again, there is no key signature for the tab staff.

Lyrics

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 in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky.
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Sweet bells they ring, they ring out the news today,
That Christ was born, was born on Christmas day,
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me for ever and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
And take us to Heaven to live with Thee there.
Sweet bells they ring, they ring out the news
That Christ was born, was born on Christmas Day,
That Christ was born, was born on Christmas day.

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Lorne Hemmerling

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)