23. The LORD, My Shepherd, Rules My Life

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Text Information
First Line: The LORD my shepherd rules my life
Title: The LORD, My Shepherd, Rules My Life
Versifier: Christopher M. Idle (1977)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: CM
Scripture: Psalm 23
Topic: Comfort & Encouragement; Funerals; Shepherd, God/Christ as (7 more...)
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1982, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission
Tune Information
Composer (desc.): W. Baird Ross, 1871-1950
Harmonizer: David Grant (1872)
Composer: Jessie Seymour Irvine (1872)
Meter: CM
Key: F Major

Text Information:

A profession of joyful trust in the LORD as the good Shepherd-King.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = v. 3
st. 3 = v. 4
st. 4 = v. 5
st. 5 = v. 6

Psalm 23's tranquil confession of faith and hope builds on the common ancient Near East and Old Testament metaphor of the king as shepherd of his people. God is the true Shepherd-King, providing his people their every need (st. 1-2), protecting them against every danger (st. 3), and welcoming them to a banquet of bounty and fellowship at the LORD's royal table in the face of their enemies (st. 4). The people thus have the sure hope of God's unfailing care and of ready access to God's presence (st. 5). Jesus' use of the shepherd image (John 10) has further endeared this psalm to Christians everywhere.

The 1977 versification by Christopher M. Idle (PHH 20) was first published in Jesus Praise (1982). He wrote it, he said, "to provide a version of the twenty-third Psalm in familiar meter which would avoid the archaisms and inversions of the established sixteenth-century version from the Scottish Psalter" (161). Other settings of Psalm 23 include 161, 162, and 550.

Liturgical Use:
As an expression of trust, Psalm 23 is appropriate for many liturgical uses, including baptism, the Lord's Supper, weddings, and funeral services.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

CRlMOND was first published in The Northern Psalter (1872), where the tune was attributed to David Grant (b. Aberdeen, Scotland, 1833; d. Lewisham, London, England, 1893), who arranged many of the tunes in that collection. However, in 1911 Anna B. Irvine claimed that CRIMOND had been composed by her sister, Jessie Seymour Irvine (b. Dunnottar, Kincardineshire, Scotland, 1836; d. Aberdeen, Scotland, 1887), who had given it to Grant to be harmonized. Irvine's authorship is generally accepted today. Little is known of Irvine's life except that she was the daughter of an Anglican minister and lived in her parents' home for much of her life.

CRIMOND became very popular after it was used at the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1947. Named after the town of Crimond in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the tune is considered by many to be among the finest of all Scottish psalm tunes.

David Grant composed the harmonization. A tobacco shop merchant by trade, Grant was an amateur musician. He composed music for bands, arranged tunes for The Northern Psalter (1872), and served as precentor of the Footdee Church in Aberdeen.

The descant composed by William Baird Ross (b. Montrose, Scotland, 1871; d. Edin¬burgh, Scotland, 1950) also gained popularity from royal use in 1947. Educated at Queen's College in Oxford, Ross became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. He was an educator and an organist in Montrose, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Stirling in Scotland.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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