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Amazing Grace on Wikipedia (Portrait)

Amazing Grace on Wikipedia (Portrait)

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02/14/2013

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Amazing Grace
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"
Amazing Grace
" is a well-known Christian hymn. The wordswere written late in 1772 by Englishman John Newton. They firstappeared in print in Newton's Olney Hymns (1779), which heworked on with William Cowper.
History
John Newton wrote this hymn some time after converting to Christianity in the village of Kineton, in Warwickshire,England. The lyrics are based on his reflections on an Old Testament text he was preparing to preach on, adding hisperspective about his own conversion while on his slave ship, the
Greyhound 
, in 1748.Newton's lyrics have become a favorite for Christians, largely becausethe hymn vividly and briefly sums up the doctrine of divine grace. Thelyrics are based on 1 Chronicles 17:16-17(http://php.ug.cs.usyd.edu.au/~jnot4610/bibref.php?book=1%20Chronicles&verse=17:16-17&src=NRSV), a prayer of King Davidin which he marvels at God's choosing him and his house. Newtonapparently wrote this for use in a sermon he preached on this passageon New Year's Day 1773, and for which he left his sermon notes,which correspond to the flow of the lyrics
[1]
. (He entitled the piece"Faith's review and expectation.")The song has also become known as a favorite with supporters of freedom and human rights, both Christian and non-Christian, in partbecause many assume it to be his testimony about his slave tradingpast.The hymn was quite popular on both sides in the American Civil War.In recent years, this song has also become popular in America withdrug and alcohol recovery groups, particularly Christian ones, atcelebrations of how they "once were lost, but now are found."
Extra verses
"Amazing Grace"Music by William WalkerWords by John NewtonLanguage
Irish melody, English words
Contents
1 History
1.1 Extra verses
1.2 Cherokee lyrics
2 Music
2.1 Bagpipes
3 Performances and recordings
4 Awards
5 References
6 See also
7 External links
8 Audio samples"
Amazing Grace
"Amazing grace, how sweet the soundThat sav’d a wretch like me!I once was lost, but now am found,Was blind, but now I see.’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,And grace my fears reliev’d;How precious did that grace appear,The hour I first believ’d!Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,I have already come;’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,And grace will lead me home.The Lord has promis’d good to me,His word my hope secures;He will my shield and portion be,As long as life endures.Page 1 of 12Amazing Grace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia3/6/2008http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace
 
In her novel
Uncle Tom's Cabin
, Harriet BeecherStowe includes an extra, final verse which may havebeen taken from another hymn:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,Bright shining as the sun,We've no less days to sing God’s praiseThan when we’ve first begun.
This additional verse is credited by some to John P.Rees (1828-1900)
[2]
and became firmly established aspart of the hymn from the early twentienth century,appearing in many hymnal
Cherokee lyrics
While on the "Trail of Tears," the Cherokee were not always able to give their dead a full burial. Instead, they sang atranslation (or rather, paraphrase) previously made by Samuel Worcester.
[3]
For this reason, many contemporary NativeAmerican musicians have recorded the song.
Music
As with other hymns of this period, the words were sung to a number of tunes before and after they first became linkedto the now familiar variant of the tune "New Britain" of which the composer is unknown and is in William Walker'sshape-note tunebook
Southern Harmony
, 1835.
[4]
 "New Britain" first appears in a shape note hymnal from 1829 called
Columbian Harmony
. The melody is believed to be Scottish or Irish in origin; it is pentatonic andsuggests a bagpipe tune; the hymn is frequently performed on bagpipes and hasbecome associated with that instrument. This tune seems to have been firmlyestablished as the 'standard' for this hymn after an arrangement of it appeared in aseries of popular hymnbooks in the early twentieth century. (See also the versions inthe Sacred Harp article.)Another tune to which it has sometimes been sung is the so-called "Old Regular Baptist" tune. It was sung by theCongregation of the Little Zion Church, Jeff, Kentucky, on the album
The Ritchie Family of Kentucky
on the Folkwayslabel (1958).The Blind Boys of Alabama have also helped to popularise a long-standing association to the tune House of the RisingSun.
[5]
 
Bagpipes
The association with bagpipes is relatively modern; for over a century, the tunewas nearly forgotten in the British Isles until the folk revival of the 1960s begancarrying traditional musicians back and forth between the British Isles and the United States (where "Amazing Grace"had remained a very popular hymn). It was little known outside church congregations or folk festivals until ArthurPenn's film
 Alice's Restaurant 
(1969), in which Lee Hays of The Weavers leads worshipers in singing "AmazingGrace."
Performances and recordings
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,And mortal life shall cease;I shall possess, within the veil,A life of joy and peace.The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,The sun forbear to shine;But God, who call’d me here below,Will be forever mine.
 John Newton, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779)
 
Shape Note version from1835.
Page 2 of 12Amazing Grace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia3/6/2008http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace
 
Owing to its ability to be adapted easily, the song is a popular recording choice. Inessence, it has a very basic tune. Singers can then very easily add melismaticphrases, and alter the melody to make it match their own style/genre of singing. Ithas been recorded by many artists over the last century; All Music Guide lists over1800 recordings.
[6]
 
Between 1970 and 1972, a version by Judy Collins spent 67 weeks in theUK Singles Chart, a record for a female artist, and peaked at number five.
[7]
 
In 1972, an instrumental version by the Pipes and Drums and Military Bandof the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards spent five weeks at number one in theUK Singles Chart; it also reached the top spot in Australia.
Christian metal pioneers Stryper also recorded a version of this song titled10,000 Years on their 2005 comeback album
 Reborn
. The Christianalternative rock band The Almost recorded a version entitled "AmazingBecause It Is" on their album Southern Weather.
The Italian one-man band Il Guardiano del Faro recorded an instrumentalversion in 1972, played on the Moog synthesizer that was very trendy at thetime. It was titled
 Il Gabbiano Infelice
(
The Unhappy Seagull
).
Aretha Franklin recorded a notable version of the song nearly fifteenminutes in length on her live gospel album of the same name.
Rod Stewart and The Faces performed it live in their 1972-73 world tour.
The Australian singer Kylie Minogue performed this song as the final encoreof her Let's Get To It Tour.
Dropkick Murphys recorded this song for their The Gang's All Here cd in 1999.
New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra recorded a shortened version for her 2003 debut album
Pure
.
Diamanda Galás recorded it in her "Vena Cava" album. Like all other tracks, it's not listed.
Todd Agnew released the song Grace Like Rain in 2004, a rock version of Amazing Grace with an added chorus.
Chris Tomlin recorded a version of the song on his 2006 album "See The Morning" that includes a differentchorus and only some of the original verses.
Darius Rucker lead singer for Hootie & the Blowfish recorded this song on his solo project Back To Then.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band included a short instrumental interpretation of this song on their 2004 albumFuneral For a Friend.
Phish has performed the song several times live, typically acapella
Victor Wooten performs the song on his electric bass, noted for tuning his bass to the final pitches instead of playing them on the fretboard.
Chris Squire recorded a version on his bass guitar, and can be heard on the expanded version of the Yes album"Going for the One", and the box set "Yesyears"
Ani DiFranco often performs the song live, and she includes it on many of her albums including Dilate andLiving in Clip
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards have re-recorded it on their Spirit Of The Glen (2007) CD, between tours of duty in Iraq. It is believed the pipes & drums played Amazing Grace as they entered Basra in 2003.
Sufjan Stevens recorded a version on Disc 1: Noel [2001] Vol. 1 of his 2006 box set, "Songs for Christmas."It has also been used in cultures beyond its Western origin:
Native American flautist Jay Red Eagle has recorded it.
In Asia, Cantopop singer Joey Yung borrowed the tune for a version named "Tomorrow's Grace".
Also in Asia, the group Nirgilis used the first verse of the hymn in the background of their song "Sakura," one of the opening themes to the anime Eureka Seven
Awards
Christian Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 2007.
[8]
 
A piper plays "Amazing Grace"on Memorial Day. "AmazingGrace" is often played onbagpipes and in services to honorthe deceased.
Page 3 of 12Amazing Grace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia3/6/2008http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace

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