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Story

I never set out to write a new musical version of this psalm – it seems very brave, or very arrogant, to think you can improve on the existing hymn version, which has been loved and sung by millions of people for so long! I was actually working on a different song at the time, which after several hours’ hard work was not going well… I happened to flick to this psalm in my Bible while taking a break, a simple melody popped into my head, and the whole thing was written in ten minutes (something I wish as a writer would happen more often to me!).

The psalm is familiar to many as a psalm of comfort, in, for example, funeral services. But I also noticed that the psalm uses a lot of ‘movement’ imagery (walking, leading, following, etc) that speaks to me of an active response of faith to what the psalm is saying – we are to live each day believing goodness and mercy are following us, that there are still waters and green pastures to be found. That’s why I included a response in the chorus of “I will trust…”

Just as a footnote, the song I was working so hard on at the time has pretty much been lost in the mists of obscurity, but this one has lived on… it can be a frustrating experience being a songwriter sometimes!

Lyrics

The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;
He makes me lie in pastures green.
He leads me by the still, still waters,
His goodness restores my soul.

And I will trust in You alone,
And I will trust in You alone,
For Your endless mercy follows me,
Your goodness will lead me home.

He guides my ways in righteousness,
And He anoints my head with oil,
And my cup, it overflows with joy,
I feast on His pure delights.

And though I walk the darkest path,
I will not fear the evil one,
For You are with me, and Your rod and staff
Are the comfort I need to know.

Stuart Townend Copyright © 1996 Thankyou Music

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