This famous metrical version of Psalm 23 first appeared in The Scottish Psalter of 1650, every word of which was weighed by a group of Protestant divines for its faithfulness to the Hebrew text. The tune Crimond—initially set to another set of words—owes its provenance to The Northern Psalter of 1872, where it is attributed to one David Grant who became a teacher in various Scottish schools before being appointed French Master at Oundle. His advanced views on education were shared and encouraged by the Liberal and Whig Prime Minister Earl Russell. However, it is likely that the melody was actually written by Jessie Seymour Irvine, the daughter of the parish minister at Crimond-the-Town, in north-east Aberdeenshire. This much-loved hymn, with its pastoral text and wistful melody, has been frequently sung at weddings and funerals for well over a century. It was sung in this arrangement at the marriage of HM The Queen.
from notes by The Revd Dr James Hawkey © 2014