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St Oswald's

The parish church of Bollington

Bollington Road, Bollington Cross, SK10 5EG
07895 363 038

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Sing-Along Hymns

The Lord's my shepherd

This hymn is another metrical version of Psalm 23 (see also The King of love my shepherd is). The original version of the words was prepared by the English Puritan Francis Rous, but it would be accurate to say that the version we know today was prepared by committee – his original may comprise no more than 10% of the final version.

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Traditional version

The traditional tune Crimond seems also to have had various putative parents. It is said that the melody was originally composed by Jessie Seymour Irvine (1836-1887), the daughter of the minister of Crimond Parish in Aberdeenshire. The original harmonisation of the tune was done by David Grant (1833-1893), but he later claimed credit for the whole. The version of the harmony known today was by Thomas Cuthbertson Leithead Pritchard (1885-1960) and the descant provided here is by Donald Davison.

Note that the punctuation of the verses (particularly the first and third) is crucial to make sense of the words. There should breaks where shown by semi-colons, and the lines should flow frome one to the next if there is no comma.

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 through death’s dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill,
for thou art with me; and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.

My table thou hast furnished
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 for evermore
my dwelling place shall be.

Crimond

Brother James's Air

James Leith Macbeth Bain (1860–1925), was a Scottish hymn writer, religious minister and author who became known to his peers as Brother James. Although he spent time at both the Edinburgh Free Church College and the Edinburgh Established Church College, it seems that he worked as a Spiritualist minister in London and founded the Brotherhood of Healers. Apparently he and his fellow healers often sang to their patients during healing sessions. He is remembered for his religious publications, as well as the hymn tune Brother James’s Air.

The words are essentially the same as the traditional version except for some repeats to fit the tune. (So the punctuation in the first and third verses is also important!)

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.
He leadeth me, 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.
Within the paths of righteousness,
e’en for His own name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill,
for Thou art with me; and Thy rod
and staff me comfort still.
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
and staff me comfort still.

My table Thou hast furnished
in presence of my foes;
my head Thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.
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 for evermore
my dwelling place shall be.
And in God’s house for evermore
my dwelling place shall be.
And in God’s house for evermore
my dwelling place shall be.

Brother James’s Air

For each hymn we have provided a set of verses together with an electronically generated sound-track. The sound track does not provide any words - just the tune.

The selection of hymns to be included was subject to certain limitations, notably the restrictions of copyright. This meant that many modern hymns were excluded, and the exclusion even applied to some updated versions of traditional hymns. Some publishers have made a few minor changes to make hymns more "inclusive" and have then claimed copyright over the revised text. So in most cases the ORIGINAL texts have been used, even though these may not be the versions that appear in modern hymnals.

In deciding what tunes to be used, this has largely been the Webmaster's personal choice. It is a mixture of familiar tunes and tunes that are not well-known, but deserve to be better known. The webmaster has included some personal favourites (and excluded some pet hates!). The soundtracks provided go with the words provided - if there are four verses, the tune is repeated four times. Where possible tunes have been provided with descants or alternative arrangements.

Wherever possible, there is an explanation of who wrote the words or tunes, the circumstances under which they were written, when (and sometimes why). Many hymns include references to verses appearing in the King James Version of the Bible; more modern translations were not then available! In some cases we have tried to explain these scriptural references or other instances where words have changed their meaning over time.

This selection of "Sing-along Songs of Praise" was originally a series of blog posts written during the COVID Lockdowns of 2020. It was intended to allow people to sing hymns in the safety and privacy of their own homes at a time when hymn-singing in church was not allowed (even if the church building was open!).

When hymns are sung as part of a church service, it is normally the case that the hymn books are set aside at the end of the hymn and the next part of the service continues. There is no time to sit and reflect on the meaning or the beauty of words and/or music. This collection allows you to take your time, to read, listen sing along, reflect, and to repeat a hymn again if you wish.

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Last modified: 03 March 2021