“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Psalm 23, recorded by the David/Asaph Project. Originally released in 2014 on the Pastoral Psalms album, was revised & remastered in 2016. Duration is 4:58.
Produced by John Piper
Musical composition by David Albracht
Chordal & Guitar Arrangement by John Piper
Recorded in the Dallas, Texas area
Engineered & Mixed by John Piper
Mastered by Pete Maher
Bass – Lou Harlas
Cello – Pearce Meisenbach
Guitar*, Vocals – David Albracht
Percussion – Mike Drake
Violin, Viola – Milo Deering
*Guitar arrangement by John Piper
Image above: Cranach, Lucas the Younger. Christ as the good shepherd. circa 1540. Mixed media on panel. Angermuseum Erfurt.
Psalm 23, the fifth track of the Pastoral Psalms album, was recorded by the David/Asaph Project during the years 2007-2013. This song features the text of the KJV translation set to new music with all acoustic instrumentation. Song duration is 4:58.
The song’s intro (not included in the sample MP3) features solo guitar chords overdubbed on top of each other to enhance harmonics. Acoustic bass joins the guitar in the lead-up to the first verse “The Lord is my shepherd”. Cello provides the counter melody throughout most of the song. The mood and chordal structure shift quickly at “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” Violin, viola, and cello accompany guitar in the extended outro. The chords and guitar notation were arranged by John Piper, and played by David Albracht.
C.H. Spurgeon's Comments on the text of Psalm 23
There is no inspired title to this psalm, and none is needed, for it records no special event, and needs no other key than that which every Christian may find in his own bosom. It is David’s Heavenly Pastoral; a surpassing ode, which none of the daughters of music can excel. The clarion of war here gives place to the pipe of peace, and he who so lately bewailed the woes of the Shepherd tunefully rehearses the joys of the flock. Sitting under a spreading tree, with his flock around him, like Bunyan’s shepherd-boy in the Valley of Humiliation, we picture David singing this unrivaled pastoral with a heart as full of gladness as it could hold; or, if the psalm be the product of his after-years, we are sure that his soul returned in contemplation to the lonely water-brooks which rippled among the pastures of the wilderness, where in early days she had been wont to dwell. This is the pearl of psalms whose soft and pure radiance delights every eye; a pearl of which Helicon need not be ashamed, though Jordan claims it. Of this delightful song it may be affirmed that its piety and its poetry are equal, its sweetness and its spirituality are unsurpassed.
The position of this psalm is worthy of notice. It follows the twenty-second, which is peculiarly the Psalm of the Cross. There are no green pastures, no still waters on the other side of the twenty-second psalm. It is only after we have read, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” that we come to “The Lord is my Shepherd.” We must by experience know the value of blood-shedding, and see the sword awakened against the Shepherd, before we shall be able truly to know the Sweetness of the good Shepherd’s care.
It has been said that what the nightingale is among birds, that is this divine ode among the psalms, for it has sung sweetly in the ear of many a mourner in his night of weeping, and has bidden him hope for a morning of joy. I will venture to compare it also to the lark, which sings as it mounts, and mounts as it sings, until it is out of sight, and even then is not out of hearing. Note the last words of the psalm—“I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever;” these are celestial notes, more fitted for the eternal mansions than for these dwelling places below the clouds. Oh that we may enter into the spirit of the psalm as we read it, and then we shall experience the days of heaven upon the earth!