Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday Music: Psalm 23 (Bobby McFerrin)

[I first posted this song back in January of 2012 before I began the Monday Music feature. It is one of those posts that continues to be popular (according to my blogger stats it is the second most popular of all of my posts -- right behind Bob Dylan's 60 Minutes interview and ahead of my review of Rick Bragg's All Over but the Shoutin'). I decided to feature it again today on Monday Music.]


Bobby McFerrin does something remarkable with Psalm 23. The music is lovely, but the most significant thing he does here is to use the feminine pronoun in reference to God. It is amazing what this shift does for the effect of the psalm. The first time my wife and I heard it was on a PBS telecast several years ago  I think it was with the Boston Pops concert series. We were both moved to tears as we listened. The song also appears on McFerrin's CD, Medicine Music. Here's a You Tube version, scroll down to read the lyrics. 






The 23rd Psalm
By Bobby McFerrin

The Lord is my Shepard, I have all I need,
She makes me lie down in green meadows,
Beside the still waters, She will lead.

She restores my soul, She rights my wrongs,
She leads me in a path of good things,
And fills my heart with songs.

Even though I walk, through a dark & dreary land,
There is nothing that can shake me,
She has said She won't forsake me,
I'm in her hand.

She sets a table before me, in the presence of my foes,
She anoints my head with oil,
And my cup overflows.

Surely, surely goodness & kindness will follow me,
All the days of my life,
And I will live in her house,
Forever, forever & ever.

Glory be to our Mother, & Daughter,
And to the Holy of Holies,
As it was in the beginning, is now & ever shall be,
World, without end. Amen.



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