Amazing grace

Music: Sheena Phillips. Words: John Newton
performance time approx 3m 00s
words by John Newton (1725 - 1807)
tune traditional, arranged by Sheena Phillips
for soprano, alto, tenor and bass chorus (S & A divided)
Price code: C
Complexity: ***

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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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