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Amazing grace

early American melody
author of text
verse 6 is by an unknown author

Amazing grace was elevated to prominence by pop versions, the first of them made by Judy Collins in 1970, but both its tune and its text were written long before then. John Newton (1725–1807), the author of the somewhat autobiographical text, had been master of an English slave ship but became an ardent evangelical and abolitionist after coming in contact with Wesley and Whitefield. Following ordination, he was appointed curate of the village of Olney, where he and William Cowper produced their collection Olney Hymns in 1779. The tune (a typically pentatonic shape-note melody) first appeared in an American collection of 1829, Columbian Harmony, and by 1835 was associated with Newton’s text to which it has been wedded ever since.

from notes by Collegium Records © 2000


Rutter: O praise the Lord of heaven
CSCD522Download only
Sing, ye Heavens - Hymns for all time
COLCD126Download only


Track 16 on COLCD126 [4'16] Download only
Track 11 on CSCD522 [4'16] Download only

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