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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

Songs for the Shepherd (1982)

Updated: Jan 19

Songs for the Shepherd is the fourth and final studio album by Christian singer - songwriter Keith Green. It was released independently on Pretty Good Records on April 12, 1982. It is Green's final album completed before the plane crash took his life in late July 1982. He was 28 years old. The album is produced by Green and Bill Maxwell.

Green was interviewed by CCM Magazine about the album, a couple of months before his death, and said that Songs for the Shepherd is "an album of praise and worship, because every single song is written as a worship song to the Lord or as a message from God to us, His beloved Christians." Green also said "There's one or two songs on there where I almost could not record the vocal because I was crying so hard. And the anointing of the Spirit falling was so strong I almost had to stop recording." Green covers the church hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy" as the last track of the album.

The album's standout track is "There Is a Redeemer" written by Green's wife Melody in 1977. The song is now sung in churches as a hymn and has long struck the heart of listeners, serving as a bridge between conservative-leaning worshipers and the growing presence of modern praise music. "There Is a Redeemer" is ranked at number 54 from CCM Magazine in their 2006 book The 100 Greatest Songs in Christian Music and has been covered by many Christian artists including Kelly Willard and Brown Bannister on the 1992 Keith Green tribute album No Compromise, plus Kathy Troccoli, Matthew Ward and Michele Tumes among others.

Songs for the Shepherd climbed up to number 2 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart in 1983, nearly a full year after the album's release and Green's passing. Green's previous albums To Him Who Has Ears to Hear, So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt and The Keith Green Collection also made appearances on the album chart that same year. The album's back cover features Green and his three children: Josiah (3), on top of his shoulders, Bethany (2) and Rebekah (1 year), on each of his arms. Green died in a plane crash with Josiah and Bethany, along with a family of 8 people, who were friends of the Greens and the pilot of the twin engine plane on July 28, 1982 at the Last Days Ministries compound outside of Lindale, Texas. Wife Melody was at home with Rebekah and was six weeks pregnant with daughter Rachel at the time. Rachel was born in 1983. Sparrow Records reissued and distributed the album in 1986 after his passing on LP and cassette tape. And just like his 1980 album So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt, Songs for the Shepherd was only available for the public who can't afford it and was sold through Last Days Ministries at the price they were willing to pay, even if it meant giving it away free.

Track listing

All songs were written by Keith Green, except where noted.

1. The Lord is My Shepherd (based on Psalm 23) (Keith and Melody Green) -4:11

2. You Are the One! (Keith and Melody Green) -2:39

3. How Majestic Is Thy Name (based on Psalm 8) -4:00

4. Draw Me (Keith and Melody Green) -3:47

5. Glory Lord Jesus -3:20

6. There Is a Redeemer (Melody Green) -3:11

7. The Promise Song (Keith and Melody Green) -3:21

8. Until That Final Day -4:38

9. Jesus Is Lord of All! -2:32

10. O God Our Lord -3:49

11. I Will Give Thanks to the Lord (Keith and Melody Green) -1:47

12. Holy, Holy, Holy (John Bacchus Dykes, Reginald Heber) -3:41

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