What is the Christmas song about Maria and “the first nightingale’s song”?

December 19th, 2008


“The Gift” is one of my favorite Christmas songs about a girl named Maria who finds an injured bird and nurses it back to health.

“The Gift” was written by Montana singer/songwriter, Stephanie Davis. It appeared on Garth Brooks’ 1992 holiday album, Beyond the Season. A young Canadian pop and Celtic music singer, Aselin Debison also recorded and released “The Gift” on Sweet is the Melody in 2002. Enjoy!

The Gift
Stephanie Davis

A poor orphan girl named Maria
Was walking to market one day
She stopped for a rest by the roadside
Where a bird with a broken wing lay
A few moments passed till she saw it
For its feathers were covered with sand
But soon clean and wrapped it was traveling
In the warmth of Maria’s small hand

She happily gave her last peso
On a cage made of rushes and twine
She fed it loose corn from the market
And watched it grow stronger with time

Now the Christmas Eve service was coming
And the church shone with tinsel and light
And all of the townfolks brought presents
To lay by the manger that night
There were diamonds and incense and perfumes
In packages fit for a king
But for one ragged bird in a small cage
Maria had nothing to bring

She waited till just before midnight
So no one would see her go in
And crying she knelt by the manger
For her gift was unworthy of Him

Then a voice spoke to her through the darkness
Maria, what brings you to me?
If the bird in the cage is your offering
Open the door and let me see
Though she trembled, she did as He asked her
And out of the cage the bird flew
Soaring up into the rafters
On a wing that had healed good as new

Just then the midnight bells rang out
And the little bird started to sing
A song that no words could recapture
Whose beauty was fit for a king

Now Maria felt blessed just to listen
To that cascade of notes sweet and long
As her offerings was lifted to Heaven
By the very first nightingale’s song

(Corrected 12/23/2008.)

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6 Responses to “What is the Christmas song about Maria and “the first nightingale’s song”?”

  1. leo on December 23, 2008 1:07 am

    Stephanie Davis wrote this song – not Garth.

  2. rencsi on December 23, 2008 1:15 am

    I stand corrected. Stephanie Davis wrote The Gift, not Garth. That’s what rencsi.com is all about — finding answers to difficult questions. The Gift is a great song and Ms. Davis should get full credit. Thank you, Leo.


  3. Fang-tan on December 24, 2008 2:52 am

    Ah, thank you. I was curious about the song because it was stuck in my head and the singer was so beautiful.

  4. Wanda on November 3, 2012 5:30 pm

    Who has recorded the gift.what artist

  5. harriett on December 24, 2012 10:42 am

    have the words,now need the sheet music. if anyone has it i would love to have it.

  6. Christmas song about Maria and a Bird With a Broken Wing? at Rencsi on December 3, 2013 1:01 am

    [...] One of my most popular posts has helped people find the name of the Christmas song about “a poor orphan girl named Maria” and “a bird with a broken wing” since 2008. The final lyrics to the song explain that the song this bird sang at the manger on Christmas Eve was the “very first nightingale’s song.” [...]

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