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“The Lord is My Shepherd” revisited

Jul 9, 2013

“The Lord is my Shepherd, no want shall I know…”

Since I was a very young teenager I have loved the 23rd Psalm and the imagery it brings to mind. It’s easy to imagine “still waters” and “green pastures” and, even better, to imagine yourself into them. I also love James Montgomery’s lyric inspired by the psalm. I’ve never been too fond of the traditional tune though. It has always provoked me to bounce around between alto and soprano, searching for a melody.

So, of course, I decided to write one of my own. And when you start messing with melodies, you find that you have to adjust the words to match, so the words have been rearranged a bit, and a couple of new lines added.

Here’s Heather singing the resulting setting of “The Lord is My Shepherd” as a solo:

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/100228690″ params=”color=0024ff&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

It’s also available for SSATBB choir. Don’t let all the letters scare you. The 2nd soprano part just gives the lower sopranos an option slightly below the rafters in a couple of places, and the baritone part keeps the higher basses out of the basement for a measure or two. (Well, okay, they also fill the chords out nicely. 😉 ) It’s a fairly simple choral arrangement, with much of the first two verses in unison sections. Deceptively simple I guess… achieving a good unison is real work, but when you get there it’s oh so nice.

There’s a violin obbligato that goes with it, and though you can hear cello in the recording, there isn’t a cello score. The cellist was simply following the bass line of the piano score.

Just for fun, I thought I’d try my hand at doing a sing-along video complete with melody and lyrics:

Heh… the only thing missing is the bouncing ball.

I’m also posting Heather’s new recording of “Come Unto Christ.” The arrangement itself isn’t new, but there is a new cello obbligato that goes with it.

Happy Tuesday!

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