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New Music for Progressive Christianity – “The Trail”


“The Trail”
is a song of comfort for difficult times.

Free song download during COVID-19 pandemic

Discover new words for a familiar hymn and a progressive interpretation of the 23rd psalm.

As the world is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, the 23rd psalm seems particularly relevant. Drawing from this psalm, The Trail considers, not so much how we gain protection or deliverance from a powerful God, but rather, how we find comfort and inspiration from a God who is the source of beauty and goodness in the world, even as we go through dark valleys. The Trail also explores new metaphors for describing God. Its melody uses an anonymous folk tune from the early 1800s, called “Resignation,” that many will recognize as the tune for the hymn, “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.”

While listening, you can access a wealth of free resources:

  • Read the commentary about the specific progressive interpretation of the 23rd psalm that is used in The Trail.
  • Use the provided lyrics (or the lead sheet if you are a musician) and sing along. The melody is easy and familiar, and it is good to sing during difficult times.
  • If you are a religious leader adapting to a new on-line format and looking for material to use or distribute, you are welcome to use The Trail or any other free resources at
  • Share the song. There are also YouTube and Facebook video versions that can be shared.
    FREE BONUS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can download a personal copy of the song for free.  To obtain your free download, find and click the “download” button on the song player, then enter “0” when asked to, “name your price.”


    Discover all the new music and ideas for a progressive faith at: is a blog of new music and ideas for a progressive faith. Developed by Keith Sanford, Ph.D., Forward Faith provides new music and in-depth discussion of ideas from a faith perspective based on liberal theology.

    Forward Faith is the source for music for progressive Christianity. It also provides in-depth information on the theological, historical, and psychological ideas behind each song, lead sheets for musicians, and discussion questions for small groups (or for online discussion groups).

    Visit Forward Faith and explore music and ideas about:

    • Theology
    • History
    • Social justice
    • The environment
    • Psychology

    Forward Faith has resources for:

    • Small discussion groups (or online discussion groups)
    • Musicians
    • Clergy and religious leaders

    Forward Faith is a FREE website. There is NO cost and there are NO signup requirements. Although the site’s music distribution service requires a fee charged for downloading personal copies of songs, Forward Faith is waiving this fee during the COVID-19 pandemic so people can receive free downloads (see instructions above).
    About Keith Sanford, Ph.D.
    Keith Sanford is a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University. His background includes completing a program of study at a music school in Hollywood, several years working as a professional musician, completing a B.A. in religion from Seattle Pacific University, and completing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Michigan State University. He conducts research on interpersonal relationships and teaches courses that range from the use of the scientific method in psychological research to the history of racism.

    Forward Faith is the culmination of several years of work combining music with progressive Christian theology, history, concerns for social justice, and psychology.  Discover this unique combination of music to sing, ideas to discuss, and a progressive faith perspective to ponder.

    Listen to the new song: The Trail

    Click here to visit the Forward Faith homepage.

    Review & Commentary