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Re: Amazing Grace
>A change of subject perhaps?
>What is the origin of the tune "Amazing Grace"? My son is learning this on
>clarinet and I noticed, on the sheet music, that it is of Early American
>Is this correct?
>Are the lyrics as old as the tune?
The origin of the tune is unknown. Not even Bill Moyers could ferret it out.
The lyrics were written by a former slave trader turned preacher,
John Newton. He had quite a life, from impressed sailor to servant
of slave traders to being one himself. He had a religious conversion
during a storm at sea returning home. Afterwards he educated himself,
got married, and hobnobbed with George Whitefield the evangelist and
John Wesley the founder of Methodism. He eventually learned Latin and
Greek and became ordained in the Church of England. He published 280
hymns in the 1779 edition of Olney Hymns, of which Amazing Grace is the
>I can only remember the first verse-what are the other verses?
Depends on which version you mean. The sixth verse was different in the
original version (the entire text of Olney Hymns is available online).
This hymn also had a different title. And it had a reference to First
Chronicles Chapter 17, verses 16 and 17:
16 And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said,
Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house,
that thou hast brought me hitherto?
17 And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God;
for thou hast also spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come,
and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree,
O LORD God.
John S. Quarterman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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