Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday music: "Amazing Grace," by Wintley Phipps

Feel you've heard just about every rendition of "Amazing Grace" that you care to hear? I understand.

But listen to one more:

Stirring. I do wish he'd sung more of the song, though. Side-note: Phipps is a Seventh-Day Adventist pastor who evidently will sing just about anywhere for just about anyone.


SandMan said...

Phipps can sing, that's for sure.

I love the song and could never tire of it. I'm happy to know its history now.

This is one of the first hymns I learned after becoming a Christian.

I remember singing it alongside my dad and family (every eye tearing) graveside when my grandma passed.

My son learned this song by three and I've never heard a sweeter sound than my little boy singing of the grace of God (though he only came to faith in Jesus just 6 months ago at 5 yrs. old).

Thanks for this.

Al said...

This has all the flavor of an urban legend. The Scottish music of the 18th century used the pentatonic scale extensively and I think the Celtic tone of the music is unmistakable. The music of Scotland, attached as it is to England, might have had more an influence on Newton than African slave chants. Of course my grandmother was born in Scotland and I may have a bias in that direction.

al sends

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that he is SDA. His hymn cd has been a blessing to me.


Sir Aaron said...


His history is, no doubt, partially made up. I seriously doubt there was much if any singing aboard a slave ship. As seen in the recent movie of the same title, slave ships were horribly crowded, putrid places. Many slaves died on the journey because of illness and due to the very crowded conditions on board.

Not to mention, Africans were pagans at the time, most of them abducted by fellow Africans and simply turned over to the British on the docks. Ironically, it was slavery that resulted in the gospel reaching many African slaves and of course, the rich "gospel music" of African American origin.

But his version sounds good in front of a crowd, especially with the playing of only black keys.

SolaMommy said...

I tend to agree with Al. The song is often played with bagpipes.

Word verification: idsingef

David said...

Being an SDA musician means that you can be in your home church on Saturday, and then go travel to do music ministry in other churches on Sunday. Kinda handy, in a "not totally consistent about my ecclesiology" sort of way.

Al said...

David, being a SDA pastor also carries the distinct advantage of myth/Bible synthesis.

al sends

Ranyd said...

Wikipedia says it is possible that "Amazing Grace" was written only as lyrics first. "It has been associated with more than 20 melodies, but in 1835 it was joined to a tune named "New Britain" to which it is most frequently sung today." Newton by the way died several years earlier in 1807 and "New Britain" wasn't published until 1829 in a hymn book titled "Columbian Harmony".