Once In Royal David’s City Christmas Carol

Once In Royal David’s City Lyrics

Cecil Frances Alexander

1 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 Savior holy.

3 And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love,
for that child, so dear and gentle,
is our Lord in heav’n above,
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.

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.
Then like stars his children crowned,
all in white, his praise will sound.

Once In Royal David’s City History

Cecil Francis Alexander is the author of this Christmas carol, Once In Royal David’s History. It was originally written as a poem and not as a hymn.

It is one of Cecil Alexander’s 1848 collection of poems. The inspiration for this poem, now song, was the Apostle’s Creed. If you are familiar with the Apostle’s Creed you will be aware of the line, ‘….. born of the virgin Mary’.

In the United Kingdom, this carol is the opening hymn in the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols that is broadcast from King’s College Chapel on Christmas. This has been the case since 1919.

Cecil Frances Alexander, Once in Royal David's city
Cecil Frances Alexander

Below are some more Christmas Carols and their stories: –

Silent Night – Stille Nacht Lyrics and Story (Composer Joseph Mohr in 1818)

In The Bleak Midwinter Christmas Carol and Story

Mary Did You Know (Christmas Carol with lyrics)

Joy To The World Lyrics and Story – E T Everett Instrumental Piano Christmas Carol

Hark The Herald Angels Sing Lyrics and Story (Composer Charles Wesley in 1735)

Good News From Heaven The Angels Bring Hymn – Martin Luther

Away In A Manger, No Crib For A Bed – A Classic Christmas Lullaby & Carol

Shout The Glad Tidings, Exultingly Sing Story and Lyrics – Muhlenberg’s Christmas hymn

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing Hymn and Lyrics Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed Hymn and Lyrics – James Montgomery, 1771-1854

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear Hymn Lyrics and History

O Little Town Of Bethlehem Lyrics and Story (Composer: Phillips Brooks)

The Best Classic Christmas Carols Collection: Mary Did You Know, Silent Night, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear etc

Hark! What Mean Those Holy Voices

Once In Royal David’s City Hymn YouTube Video

Below is a video featuring the King’s College choir, Cambridge singing, Once In Royal David’s City.

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