Psalm 23


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psalm 23 hymn


Short History of the Psalm 23 hymn, "The Lord's My Shepherd"


In the Church of Scotland, there is a strong tradition for worship songs to be sung without musical accompaniment. This is still in eveidence today, particularly in the Free Church of Scotland and some Reformed Presbyterian Churches. In 1650, the Church of Scotland published it's metrical psalter - a collection of 150 psalms for unaccompanied singing. Originally, psalm 23 was sung to the "Wiltshire" melody. However, by the 1930's, the "Crimond" tune had become the most popular setting to this Psalm.


The Crimond melody was originally composed by Jessie Seymour Irvine, from Scotland. It is said that she originally wrote the melody as an exercise for her organ lessons. Initially, a David Grant was credited with writing the work. However, it later emerged that Grant only devised a piano accompaniment for the Crimond melody. In 1929, the Scottish Psalter corrects cites Jessie Seymour as writer of this famous hymn. Irvine was the daughter of a Church of Scotland minister. For a period of time, the family lived in Crimond in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, hence the title of this famous hymn tune.


Psalm 23 Hymn - "The Lord Is My Shepherd"

Here's the lyrics to the famous hymn:-


Verse 1

The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.


Verse 2
My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
Even for His own Name's sake.




Verse 3
Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale,
Yet will I fear none ill;
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
And staff me comfort still.


Verse 4

My table Thou hast furnished
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Verse 5

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God's house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.

The Lord Is My Shepherd Tunes


The Lord's My Shepherd (Psalm 23) set to the Crimond Tune

If you're looking for a free scored melody line to "The Lord's My Shepherd", there's a good one here at sibelius music. You'll need to install a "scorch" plugin into your browser to get it to work.


It's also possible to download a free music score with piano accompaniment to "The Lord's My Shepherd", here at Jan Wolters site. Here you'll find the hymn based on psalm 23 set to the Crimond melody, in two different keys, one suitable for Bb instruments such as the Bb trumpet. If you often need church music, you'll find this site useful - it has a large collection of hymns and Christmas Carols all with free downloadable piano scores. There is an option to give a donation to the work of the site.


There's also a SATB version of psalm 23 "The Lord's My Shepherd" available for free at Choral Wiki, with the lyrics underneath.


"The Lord's My Shepherd" with alternative melody

There's also another free score version "The Lord's My Shepherd" with a different melody (and in four part harmony), again here in the free sibelius scores. Installing the scorch plugin enables you to view and transpose the work in different keys, and also print it out for future reference. This version dates from 1650.


Psalm 23 can also be sung to the melody of Amazing Grace (to the "New Britain" melody, which can also be found here in the key of F at the Jan Walters site. There's also a copy of the lyrics and chords to Amazing Grace at easy-chords, (in the keys of G and F) .