550. My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

1 My Shepherd will supply my need;
the Lord God is his name.
In pastures fresh he makes me feed,
beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
when I forsake his ways,
and leads me for his mercy's sake
in paths of truth and grace.

2 When I walk through the shades of death,
your presence is my stay;
one word of your supporting breath
drives all my fears away.
Your hand, in sight of all my foes,
shall still my table spread;
my cup with blessings overflows,
your oil anoints my head.

3 The sure provisions of my God
attend me all my days;
O may your house be my abode
and all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest,
while others go and come
no more a stranger or a guest,
but like a child at home.

Text Information
First Line: My shepherd will supply my need
Title: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
Author: Isaac Watts (1719, alt.)
Meter: CMD
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Epiphany & Ministry of Christ; Funerals; Shepherd, God/Christ as (4 more...)
Tune Information
Meter: CMD
Key: C Major
Source: W. Walker's Southern Harmony, 1835; Hymnal for Colleges and Schools, 1956, harm.
Copyright: Harmonization © 1956, Yale University Press.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 23:1-3
st. 2 = Ps. 23:4-5
st. 3 = Ps. 23:6

Psalm 23 has inspired numerous paraphrases and hymn texts, including this text by Isaac Watts (PHH 155). Watts included it in his large 1719 collection of psalm paraphrases, The Psalms of David Imitated.

For general comments on this beloved psalm, see PHH 23; other settings are also at 161 and 452.

Liturgical Use:
See suggestions at PHH 23,161, and 162.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

RESIGNATION is another of the anonymous tunes from the shape-note hymnal tradition in the Southern United States; William Walker (PHH 44) included it in his Southern Harmony (1835) set to Watts' text. That association of text and tune has been maintained in many hymnals and anthems, including a famous choral setting by Virgil Thompson.

Like so many American folk tunes, RESIGNATION is pentatonic. This rounded bar form tune (AABA) has a sturdy harmonization. Sing in unison or harmony.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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