Posted by: Tom Triumph | March 25, 2009

26. Amazing Grace: John Newton

After “I’ll Fly Away” my mind wandered to this hymn. Read my comments about “I’ll Fly Away” as they apply to this, too.

“Amazing Grace” has a lot of history behind it, from its origins to its use as a protest song over the decades. It is sad, yet inspirational. I think a lot of its power lies in its humility. This makes for a good social science interdisciplinary text.

That it is often sung “a capella” puts it in another category in the poem vs. lyrics debate. Can poems be sung? Where does that put simple inflection? Is a poem to be read or spoken? Are they the same? How, and how not? Where does slam fit into this debate? Rap? For a good resource on this I suggest taking a look at slam poetry guidelines, specifically the “no instruments or props” rule.

Amazing Grace
John Newton

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.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

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