Why 'Amazing Grace'?

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Big Bad Bill
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What's so special about the hymn 'Amazing Grace' that makes it so close to American's hearts? Is there some cultural reason for this? Does it encapsulate something for Americans? I don't think we really have any piece of music similarly dear to us in Great Britain-maybe Elgar's 'Pomp and Circumstance' with it 'Land of Hope and Glory' interlude, 'The Archer's' theme maybe, or the hymn 'Jerusalem' which has so many lyrics written by William Blake that only a few people can sing it all the way through!

So what's so great about 'Amazing Grace'?
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sunai
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I guess Vande Mataram is to us, as amazing grace is to them..
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RAI
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It's a spiritual hymn, with a simple melody and lyrics.
Sticks with you...
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Breeder
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I don`t know the lyrics but melody really is <3
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boswell
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It's religion again Bill we wouldn't understand it! :wink:
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Shredded Heat
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Very briefly - the guy who wrote the lyrics, John Newton, was a slave trader who eventually turned to God and became a minister. People think it was written as a reflection on his former career and how he learned the error of his ways, which draws certain parallels with the US, I guess.

Hopefully it's not going off on too much of a tangent here, but I always wondered why English rugby fans sing 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' at matches - it always seemed like a strange one to me. Any ideas?
Fanch
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boswell wrote:It's religion again Bill we wouldn't understand it! :wink:
Exactly! You both cant't understand it. :D
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Breeder
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omg this could turn into watering hole again :lol: :lol:

but remember folks...word religion is only used in the west...and for good reason too

and thanks for the info on Newton guy 8)
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Big Bad Bill
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Shredded Heat wrote:Very briefly - the guy who wrote the lyrics, John Newton, was a slave trader who eventually turned to God and became a minister. People think it was written as a reflection on his former career and how he learned the error of his ways, which draws certain parallels with the US, I guess.
Thanks-that's what I wanted to know!
Shredded Heat wrote:Hopefully it's not going off on too much of a tangent here, but I always wondered why English rugby fans sing 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' at matches - it always seemed like a strange one to me. Any ideas?
Hmmm...I can't help you with that one, I'm afraid. Its not one of the Rugby songs I'm familiar with. They're usually about drinking ale, and women of questionable virtue :wink:
Trinity777
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I feel that Amazing Grace is just that, God's grace is Amazing!

And to have so many different renditions of this spiritual hymn done by so many different muscians including Jeff Beck and Steve Vai that it take's on a differnt meaning each time some one play's it or sing's it. :guitar

When I learned to play it on the guitar I was looking for the words to it. I didnt realize how many differnt verses their are and how many people who have actually done their own interpertations of it.

Trinity777 8)
Melodic Dreamer
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I've heard different stories about this subject, but a college professor told me this.

When John Newton was in the slave business, he would allow the slaves a time of worship. The slaves were only allowed to play the Black keys though. A lot of upper class White people did this back in the day. So the slaves would write these beautiful spirituals using only sharps and flats, which is pretty much the Pentatonic scale.
After Newton found God he said those beautiful melodies stuck with him. He wrote amazing graze using the melodies he heard for so long.
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lydian2000
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Melodic Dreamer wrote:I've heard different stories about this subject, but a college professor told me this.

When John Newton was in the slave business, he would allow the slaves a time of worship. The slaves were only allowed to play the Black keys though. A lot of upper class White people did this back in the day. So the slaves would write these beautiful spirituals using only sharps and flats, which is pretty much the Pentatonic scale.
After Newton found God he said those beautiful melodies stuck with him. He wrote amazing graze using the melodies he heard for so long.
:roll:

Pick up an encyclopedia, and search for the entries "music" and "pentatonic scales" and "african music" and maybe you'll find out that "the slaves" didn't necessarily "learn" everything "from their good white owners".

:roll:
sonny sixshooter
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Well, I am far from being religious and I'm not American either. However, I love Amazing Grace. Not the lyrics, but the song. Especially if it's a talented singer performing it. One of my guilty little pleasures, I guess.
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