The Babe in the Manger


Do you worship the Babe in the manger,
But reject the Christ of the Cross?
Your redemption comes not by the manger,
But the death of Christ on the Cross.

If you worship the Babe in the manger,
But ignore the blood of God’s Son,
To you Christ is only a stranger,
Til you trust the work He has done.

The Babe in the manger was God’s only Son,
Who came to the world to die.
The Babe in the manger could never have done
The work of His God on high.

The Babe left the manger and went to the Cross
To pay the wages of sin.
Your way of forgiveness is not by the Babe,
But the Christ who died for your sin.

— W. S. and Mildred Dillon

Updated to add: Many people have asked me for the music to this, but I only knew it as a poem rather than a song. However, one reader e-mailed me to say it was in a book called SONGS YOU LOVE, Volume 6, published 1961, an old hymnal that was used in the “Back to the Bible” Broadcasts. Another commenter below told us that there is a link with a midi file and sheet music here.

30 thoughts on “The Babe in the Manger

  1. The poem “The Babe in the Manger” is just what I have been looking for. Do you know where I could get the music for it? Many years ago when I was a teen my friends sang in a group and this was one of the song they sang.

  2. Hi Sally,

    I’m so sorry, no, I don’t know where music could be found for it. I just did a Google search both for the hymn and the authors and couldn’t find anything, at least within the first few pages of results. I didn’t even know it was a hymn until a few years ago. I had seen it about 20-some years ago and just thought it was a poem. Hope you can find it!

  3. Hi,
    I woke this morning with this song in my mind. It was one of my favoriite songs in my teenage years. We are having our family Christmas tomorrow with our children and 15 grandchildren. I looked through my songbooks but was unable to find it. I remember the music but was unsure of some of the words so I was so excited to find it on my google search. If there was a way of singing it to you I would but I don’t know how to do that on the computer. Thank you for posting it!

    • Yes, Bill and Mildred Dillon are the original composers. They were both very talented musicians and probably did the music also. The cited arranged may have been changed slightly by PF Becker.

      Dillons are with the Lord now.

  4. I am very interested in this article about this poem. I am actually looking for the music for our school Christmas program. I went on the website listed above – “a voice etc.”, but it would not let me print the entire 3 pages. Does anyone out there know of anywhere else I could get the music.
    Thanks for your help.

  5. “I went on the website listed above – “a voice etc.”, but it would not let me print the entire 3 pages. Does anyone out there know of anywhere else I could get the music.”

    Jane –
    I was able to go the the above listed site and print all the music. The start of the second page is at the small number 2 four lines down. I was able to print the second page by clicking on the portion below the number 2 and saving it to my computer and then printing.

    Hope this helps!

  6. Thanks for your help Steph. The person responsible for the music in our Christmas program actually just copieed it by hand before I found your reply. Thanks anyway for the suggestion. I’ll remember that in the future. Have a very Blessed Christmas.

  7. Praise God!!! I finally found the words to Babe in the Manger now all i have to do is find the music. I’ll try all the areas you suggested. the midi file wouldn’t work for me so i’ll go the the bible bookstore and see if they can find anything. if someone does come up with a place to buy the music please email me.
    Thank you so very much,
    Marsha Kurth

  8. This song was written by W.S. Dillon and Mildred Dillon. It was copyrighted in 1954 by W.S. Dillon Publishing. The arrangement was made by P.F. Becker. I believe Bill Dillon died in May of 2000. I was unable to find W.S. Dillon Publishing on the internet. It is possible that it went out of business when he passed away. This music is not covered for copying under the CCLI license. But, since the copyright holder is no longer in business, …

  9. W.S. (Bill) Dillon was the author and composer. I heard him play it and sing it a few times while I was in New Tribes Mission’s training program in the 70’s – he had been a concert pianist in the past, and was still great at about 70 years of age! He had an important part in the formation of New Tribes Mission, and we all loved him. He was a good preacher, a great expositor of the Word, a good encourager, and a fantastic pianist. And you’re right – he died around 2000. If there’s a piano or 2 up in heaven, I suppose he’s up there banging away on the keys!

    • I don’t know much about Bill Dillon, but he couldn’t have died in 2000 because he was given the Alumnist of the Year award at Moody Bible Institute. If you google for the article “Heart for Chicago’s Inner City” a PDF article from Moody’s Alumni magazine will show up and you can read an extensive bio of Bill Dillon.

  10. Pingback: Christmasy links « Stray Thoughts

  11. Merry Christmas, Barbara, What a treasure you are to Beloved JESUS!
    Thank you for ” The Babe in the Manger! ” Finding you was no coincidence but amazing Grace Himself! Have you read the poem, Mary’s Song by Luci Shaw;
    also read The Dove’s Eyes blog.

  12. Lucy
    Thanks for posting the link Ingrid. I have a copy of the song somewhere in a box that I got from the “Back To The Bible” Broadcast monthly magazine when I was a child, back in the 50’s. I was just recently thinking of the song and wanted the music. Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!! God Bless!!!

  13. This song has been a blessing to us with my family and the whole of the Christian Brethren. I first heard this song with the four ladies of our church: Ms. Rebecca Ravina, Phebe Lacson, Elvie Tabujara and my sister Esther M. Vingno. They have the Songs You Love of the Back to the Bible Broadcast Choir with Theodore Epp. I think this was written by Eugene Clark, the man who is genius in Music. by Ds. Joy M. Vingno, Christian Brethren

  14. Is it all right to reprint the song, Babe in the Manager for on a Christmas card? I have a copy of my own in the hymn book but don’t want to break any copyright laws?

    • I don’t really know for sure. I think that if you are using it for personal use, like in a Christmas card, that’s ok, but they don’t want anyone putting it on something they are going to sell and make money on, because the right to that belongs to the copyright owner.

  15. This a song I sang in a ladies’ trio sometime in the early 1970s. I’m happy to find the music as I’ve sung it many times to myself over the years but didn’t remember all the words. Does anyone have a trio arrangement of this? I can write it out but it would be a lot easier to find it already arranged.

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