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.
My soul He doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E’en for His own name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill,
For Thou art with me, and Thy rod
And staff me comfort still.
My table Thou hast furnishèd
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me,
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.
This paraphrase of Psalm 23 is from the Scottish Psalter of 1650 – clearly then, one of our oldest hymns! Since the original Psalms were written in Hebrew, translation of them was required for use in British churches. Francis Rouse, an Englishman, undertook the daunting task of translating all 150 Psalms in the early 1640’s. Committees of the Church of Scotland spent six years comparing and revising Rouse’s translations to compile a work that was singable while also being true to the original Hebrew.
The tune most familiarly used for this hymn, Crimond, was composed by Jessie Seymour Irvine in about 1870. Her father was the minister in the little Scottish town of Crimond. Intriguingly, the town is also known for its unusual clock tower. The clockmaker accidentally placed six marks into one of the five-minute sections of the clock, so that each hour in Crimond is sixty-one minutes long, and each day is twenty-four minutes longer than anywhere else!Francis Rouse, an Englishman, undertook the daunting task of translating all 150 Psalms in the early 1640's Click To Tweet