LIBERTY, November 25, 2012 - The Hymn, “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” sung to the tune, St. Columba is based on the 23rd Psalm from the Old Testament. It’s words are by Henry W. Baker, first published in Hymns Ancient and Modern in London in 1868. Its’ music is based on an Irish Melody and was sung at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in Westminster Abbey, London on September 6, 1997.
Baker was the son of Vice Admiral Henry Loraine Baker. He attended Trinity College at Cambridge, was ordained in 1844, and became assistant curate at Great Hockesley, near Colchester, Essex. In 1851, he became Vicar of Monkland Priory Church in Herefordshire, England, where he served most of his life. Upon his father’s death in 1859, Baker assumed the family baronetcy. From 1860 to 1877, he was editorinchief of the Anglican Hymns Ancient and Modern, and contributed hymns, tunes, and translations. This historic hymnal sold 60 million copies.
Baker's friend John Ellerton reported that Baker’s dying words were from this famous hymn:
The King of love my Shepherd is,
Where streams of living water flow
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
And so through all the length of days