Infant Holy Infant Lowly

Now that it’s December, I thought I’d put together a simple arrangement of a Christmas carol. Unlike previous lessons, this tune is neither Celtic nor in an open tuning. Infant Holy, Infant Lowly is an old Polish carol known as W Zlobie Lezy (Lying in the Manger) and is found in many hymnals. The lyrics are similar to those of the well-known carol Away in the Manager. I’ve chosen standard tuning for this arrangement, and it uses no more than two notes at a time.

One technique that I’ve used in my DADGAD arrangements is a “harp-like” effect that is produced by allowing two or more notes to ring together. This effect can also be used in standard tuning, and I’ve used it in a few spots in this arrangement.

Infant Holy Infant Lowly 1
Infant Holy Infant Lowly 2

In most cases this shouldn”t cause you any trouble – just let the adjacent notes ring together. Spots where you can do this are in measure one (F# and G), measure three (B and A), measure five (G and F#), measure seven (B and A), and measure 10 (B to A).

But there are two spots that may prove to be a little more difficult due to the fact that the higher note is played on the lower string, contrary to what we”re used to doing. In measure six, instead of playing the melody note ‘A’ on the second fret of the third string, I’m using the ‘A’ on the seventh fret of the fourth string so I can let it sustain while playing the adjacent open G string. In measure eight I play the ‘C’ on the fifth fret of the third string instead of using the first fret of the second string. Here I allow the ‘C’ on the third string to ring while I play the adjacent open B string. These are awkward maneuvers, but well worth the effort for the sound it provides. If you find this difficult, feel free to play those two notes in their first position locations.

I hope you enjoy playing this arrangement as much as I do. Until next time, happy holidays!