John Newton was a slave trader before he dramatically converted to Christianity and trained for ordination, and this hymn beautifully expresses the feeling of thanks for finding a good path through life. The setting builds up from a very quiet and slow first verse, via a suddenly more upbeat second verse, to a joyful jazz finale. I have changed the pronoun in verse 3 from Newton's original 'I' to 'we', as I like the way the song then moves from a private and relatively unadorned statement to a collective choral one. A recording by Rudsambee company of singers is available on their album bottled at source (RUBEECD003).
Amazing grace Amazing grace! how sweet the sound That saved 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 fear relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed. Through many dangers, toils and snares We have already come; 'Tis grace that brought us safe thus far, And grace will lead us home. When we've been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We've no less days to sing God's praise Than when we first begun. John Newton
Purchase – 5003: Amazing grace
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