At long last this Irish wedding hymn is finished. Of all the new hymns and wedding songs I have discovered over the last year as we look to add music to our site, “The King Of Love My Shepherd Is” is one of my favorites. It has a somewhat modal, almost pentatonic melody and sounds beautiful arranged for guitar, strings, and harp, with the melody carried by flute and Irish penny whistle. I have become so fond of this hymn that I may do another arrangement for wedding bagpipes and orchestra.
A popular Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist hymn, “The King Of Love My Shepherd Is” has often been used in church services and other religious occasions – weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies. Based loosely on Psalm 23, many consider it the most beautiful of all settings composed for the poet David’s pastoral reflections.
The lyric is from the pen of Henry Baker, primarily a compiler of hymns for the Anglican Hymnal, Hymns Ancient And Modern, which in all its various editions sold more than 60 million units in Victorian England.
It’s on our Wedding Hymns album, as well as our Wedding Music Samples album released January 2011.
The King of love my shepherd is
whose goodness faileth never
I nothing lack if I am his
and he is mine for ever
Where streams of living water flow
my ransomed soul he leadeth
and where the verdant pastures grow
with food celestial feedeth
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed
but yet in love He sought me
and on his shoulder gently laid
and home, rejoicing, brought me
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
with thee, dear Lord, beside me
thy rod and staff my comfort still
thy cross before to guide me
Thou spread’st a table in my sight
thy unction grace bestoweth
and O what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth
And so through all the length of days
thy goodness faileth never
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house for ever
For more information on wedding hymns and their use in your ceremony, read this article.