Child in the Manger

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Everyone knows the tune BUNESSAN, although perhaps not by name, but not so many are aware it was first published as the tune for a Christmas Carol, back in 1888.

Lachlan Macbean was passionate about rescuing the traditional Gaelic songs and melodies of Scotland, and he paired this melody with his translation of a poem by Mary MacDonald of Mull, naming it for her birthplace.

A few years later, the traditional Gaelic melody was again “collected” by composer Martin Shaw, a friend of Ralph Vaughan Williams. Shaw made a new arrangement of Bunessan which he wanted to include in publish in a new hymnbook, and asked writer Eleanor Farjeon to provide suitable words for it. 

This setting uses a small orchestral ensemble featuring harp and viola. It’s back to its original key of Bb for a comfortable sing.

The beautiful Memory Tree was crafted by my aunt, Maureen Seymour.

You can listen to this track through SoundCloud.

Available as audio only, or as a Lyric Video with 4 options, this setting is a comfortable sing for all congregations.

Vouchers for free access to Lyric Videos are available to our supporters through our Patreon page.

Select a format-
SD Video: Standard Definition, suitable for older Data Projectors and screens
HD Video: High Definition, suitable for TVs, mobile devices, and HDMI data projectors
Dark: for use in candle-lit or dim environments
Bright: for daylight and well lit surroundings

Interested in other keys or with different words? These options are available to our patrons. Contact us to discuss!