Once in Royal David's City

Melody - Henry Gauntlett

C. F. Alexander

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.

2. 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.
  3. And through all his wondrous childhood,
He would honour and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms he lay:
Christian children all must be,
Mild, obedient, good as He. -

4. Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see him; but in heaven,
Set at God's right hand on high;
Where like stars his children crowned,
All in white shall wait around.

Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander, wife of the primate of Ireland, wrote the words to many hymns especially for children. Henry Gauntlett, who composed the melody, was also an organist and organ designer. He wrote more than ten thousand other hymns.

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