Away in a Manger is theologically crackers, bordering on the Gnostic heresy of docetism, particularly regarding its gob-smackingly bananas assertion of "no crying he makes". To describe that as assinine would be grossly unfair to all decent donkeys.
1. Away with the fairies theology flies: the little sweet Jesus gets saccharinised. The star and the bright lights look down from my tree, eclipsing the Jesus I'd rather not see. 2. The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but we, not the ass, sing "no crying he makes". I love my twee, rose-tinted Jesus, that's why I ditch incarnation for pie in the sky. 3. Be not near me, Jesus; I ask thee to stay away in your manger on my Christmas day. Bless all our nice tinsel and glittery stuff, and fit us for Christmas while you're sleeping rough.Copyright © David Lee, 2011
My thanks to some fellow delegates at the 2011 Hymn Society conference for providing the inspiration and encouragement to write the above. (Any blame, of course, is entirely mine.)