Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Amazing Grace...

I saw the movie Amazing Grace last night. I thought it was a great movie. A wonderful testament about the challenges one man faced in order to change the opinion of so many. It is people like William Wilberforce who helped to shape the world that I know. I have never known slavery and for that I am grateful.

I did not know that the lyrics to Amazing Grace were written by a slave-trader. For some reason I had thought that they were written by a female slave. Guess I should have paid more attention in my history classes! But this slave trader *saw the light* and ultimately became a minister in England helping William Wilberforce in his campaign to end slave trading. Click on the music sheet to download a pdf file of the music. This is also available at the movie website.


Original verses

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 fears relieved;
How precious did that Grace appear,
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
We have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And Grace will lead me home. (Lead me home!)
The Lord hast promised good to me,
His word my hope secures!
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this heart and flesh shall fail
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be for ever mine.

Many hymnbooks omit one or more of the last three verses, but add the following at the end:

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'd first begun.

This verse is not by Newton, but has been attributed to John P. Rees (1828-1900) and was included in a 19th-century hymnal, Hymns Of The Christian Life. The verse was popularized in part by its inclusion in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), where it appeared with the two final verses of Newton's hymn (though in reversed order). These verses are said to be "a hymn, which he [Tom] had sung often in happier days."

Some versions include the verse:

Shall I be wafted through the skies,
On flowery beds of ease,
Where others strive to win the prize,
And sail through bloody seas.

This verse, borrowed from the Isaac Watts hymn "Am I a Soldier of the Cross?", has been included in recordings by Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie.

Note: The Lyrics were copied from Wikipedia

1 comment:

PsiPsi said...

I loooooooooooooove that song!!!!!
and now it´s right in my ears*lol*