Lyrics to Amazing Grace
The Inspiration for the Lyrics to Amazing Grace
The waves crashed over and through the upper timbers of John's ship. If not for the fact that John Newton had tethered himself to the ship, he would surely have been washed overboard along with many of his shipmates.
The waves from the heavy storm had broken through the side of the ship. The captain had declared that they all would surely perish, but the crew scrambled feverishly to repair the damage and pump out the water that violently gushed in.
They kept up this torrid pace through the night and into the next morning. John and the rest of the crew were exhausted. He began passionatly praying to the God whom he had not even considered for many years.
John Newton's Early Years
John's mother was a devout believer in the one true God and taught John to worship God and to trust in Him. But when he was only six years old, his mother died from tuberculosis.
John's father, a wealthy and influential merchant ship captain, sent John to a boarding school. During that time, he forgot all that his mother had taught him.
At eleven years of age, John's father invited him to become a crew member on his ship to learn his trade. During the next few years, John made five voyages to the Mediterranean with his father.
Then John's father decided that his and his son's future were on land. He made no more voyages after this, but he arranged, with a friend, to have John employed on a plantation. John accepted the offer, but in the meantime, met a girl that he became very fond of. John stayed with her and her family for several weeks past the time he was supposed to begin his new position.
In anger, John's father sent him on a voyage to the Middle East as a common seaman. After one voyage, John's father secured an officer's position on another ship. But again, John overstayed a visit to his young lady friend and missed the opportunity.
This began a pattern for John. His father provided him opportunity after opportunity and each time John fouled them up. So it goes when an individual is provided opportunities that they don't deserve and haven't worked for. They never learn to value and appreciate what they are given. That was the state of John's character when he boarded the "Greyhound".
God's Amazing Grace Revealed
One night, while on board the "Greyhound", John was awakened by water gushing into his cabin. As John was climbing the stairs to go on deck, the Captain asked him to get a knife, so John turned back. The very next person to go on deck was washed into the sea by a large wave.
After nearly twenty-four hours of pumping water, patching holes, and repairing the ship, the storm subsided. Only then, did the crew realize that they were in danger of starvation, for most of their supplies had been destroyed by the storm waters.
To further complicate their chance of survival, the winds died down and their vessel sat still for some time. With their supplies running dry, the winds began again, but blew them off course.
They finally arrived on the northwestern coast of Ireland about four weeks after the storm damage they suffered.
Through this ordeal, John Newton came to full surrender to God's amazing grace.
John Newton's Reflections
My Gracious Lord, Thou hast preserved me to see another anniversary of that great, awful and merciful day, when I was upon the point of sinking with all my sins and blasphemies upon my head into the pit which has no bottom, and must have sunk, has not Thine eye pitied me, and preserved me in a manner which appears to me little less miraculous, than all the wonders Thou didst perform for Israel in Egypt and at the Red Sea.
O I have now cause to praise thee for that terrible storm, which first shook my infidelity, and made me apprehensive that death was not, as my corrupt heart had persuaded me, an eternal sleep.
I thank Thee, likewise, for the subsequent month, when we expected to be starved, or reduced to feed upon one another and it not been for this protected season of distress, my first impressions might have worn off, but Thou fixed and increased them, so that by the time we arrived in Ireland, I was no longer an infidel. Not one of my fellow sufferers was affected as I was. Well I might say with wonder and gratitude, Why me O Lord, Why me?
Original Lyrics to Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace Lyrics Authored
The words to the famous hymn were penned by John Newton in 1772, twenty-four years after the violent storm from which his life had been spared in 1748.
At that time, hymns were not sung, but rather chanted. The famous melody was not written by John Newton, but probably added in America years later, as the tune is from a traditional plantation melody entitled "Loving Lambs".
This famous last verse was written later by someone other than John Newton.
When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise,
Than when we'd first begun.
- The Cowper and Newton Museum
Much of the historical detail represented in this hub was obtained from this website.
Expressions of an African American
Although Wintley Phipps's history is not entirely accurate, it's a decent summary of the background of the song. His heartfelt story and magnificent rendition of how the African American feels about the song, Amazing Grace, is truly a moving experience.
Watch and listen to the video below.
As Performed by Wintley Phipps
Great Performances of the Hymn "Amazing Grace"
Amazing Grace has been performed by they finest musicians of all time. Here are a few of those performances.
The king Singing About The King
The Best of "Amazing Grace"
Grouped above are some of my favorite renditions of the song "Amazing Grace" that you can purchase at Amazon.com.
Watch the videos to the right of several performances of the song by various artists. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Review of the Movie "Amazing Grace"
The 2006 movie "Amazing Grace" is neither about the song "Amazing Grace" nor it's writer, John Newton, although both are represented in the movie.
"Amazing Grace" is about William Wilberforce and his campaign to abolish slave trading in the early 1800's. Newton serves as an advisor and encouragement to Wilberforce in his campaign, but is not directly involved in the fight.
This is an enlightening and thought provoking rendition. Although not entirely accurate, historically, the dramatic effects that were added don't take away from the deeper purpose of the characters.
Amazing Grace Movie Trailer
Purchase Amazing Grace Movie and CD's
Amazing Grace is Everyone's Favorite Hymn
People of all ages have claimed Amazing Grace to be a favorite hymn. Besides being sung by various well know artists, it is also sung in churches and homes around the world.
Watch this cute video of a talented 3 year-old singing this favorite.
Lyrics to Amazing Grace
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd 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 reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!
Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promis'd good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be for ever mine.