Once in royal David's city (Henry J. Gauntlett)

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  • (Posted 2017-11-20)  CPDL #47575:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2017-11-20).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 55 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Harmonised by Arthur Henry Mann,
  • (Posted 2008-12-13)  CPDL #18480:  Network.png
Editor: Rod Mather (submitted 2008-12-13).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 42 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Arr. by Rod Mather with descant.
Arranger: Rod Mather
  • (Posted 2005-12-09)  CPDL #10395:     
Editor: Alexei Nazarov (submitted 2005-12-09).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 26 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: SAB version, arranged by Alexei Nazarov
  • (Posted 2000-11-27)  CPDL #01742:  Network.png GIF and MIDI files available.
Editor: Christopher R. Baker (submitted 2000-11-27).   Copyright: CC BY 1.0
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Once in Royal David's City
Composer: Henry J. Gauntlett
Lyricist: Cecil Frances Alexander, Hymns for Little Children, 1848

Number of voices: 3 or 4vv   Voicings: SAB or SATB
Genre: SacredCarol

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella or keyboard

First published:


External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattleshed,
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 af 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.


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.


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 so dear and gentle
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 by,
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.