Once in Royal David’s City is often performed at the opening of a carol service by a single singer. This arrangement weaves two beautiful instrumental lines around this soloist.
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 thro’ all his wondrous childhood
he would honor and obey,
love and watch the lowly maiden
in whose gentle arms he lay:
Christian children all must be
mild, obedient, good as he.
4. And our eyes at last shall see him,
thro’ 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.
5. 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.