Solace & Hope
‘Amazing Grace has been performed by thousands of artists – singers, musicians and choirs – in a multitude of languages, and in an enormous range of genres, from classical performers to Caribbean steel bands. It is clearly a hymn and a song which has an unusually profound significance (both devout and secular) for untold numbers of people – in all corners of the globe. It provides solace in times of stress, hope for the downcast and the prospects of salvation for the needy. Few other hymns can claim such importance.’
James Walvin, Professor Emeritus in History University of York and author
Eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church (2015)
Memorial service at Ground Zero, New York (2011)
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, people from 50 countries around the world came together virtually to sing (2020)
Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala at Opera Holland Park in aid of Rugby Portobello Trust (2018)
Opera singer Andrea Bocelli: Music For Hope, live from Milan Cathedral (April 12th 2020)
Joan Baez: opening performance at Live Aid (Philadelphia 1985)
We do not know the tune to which ‘Amazing Grace’ was first sung in Olney but as a common metre tune there would have been many from which to choose. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the hymn was paired with many different tunes. Today, the most widely recorded is New Britain, a partnership which first appeared in William Walker’s The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1835)
‘The message of the hymn and its impact on the hundreds of millions of people who sing it or hear it in the twenty-first century are extraordinary.’
Jonathan Aitken author of the book John Newton – From Disgrace to Amazing Grace
The Rt Rev’d Rose Hudson-Wilkin,
Bishop of Dover and the Bishop in Canterbury; Patron of the Friends of the Caribbean-MK
Pupils at St Vincent’s School, a specialist school for sensory impairment and other needs, know that they have the real vision.
The Rev’d Dr Janet Wooton, President of the Hymn Society of GB and Ireland: Judy Collins, street cred and teenage years
Alina Orchestra String Quartet and Multi-faith soloists: the ‘Great Get-Together Iftar’ in Milton Keynes
Dr Martin Clarke from the Open University tells us about his fascination with Amazing Grace and why he feels the song has been re-versioned so many times.
Professor Anthony Reddie explains why at first sceptical about singing Amazing Grace, but how his relationship with the hymn has changed over time.
Cllr. Mike Kasibo explains what Amazing Grace means to him and how the hymn has impacted his life.
Listen to what Liz Knight, Jon Bickley, Derek Martin, Susan Heron, Dr Martin Clarke, Professor Anthony Reddie and Kate Nicholas had to say about Amazing Grace.
The Chasanoff/Elozua ‘Amazing Grace’ Collection at the Library of Congress includes the earliest recordings of the hymn amongst over 3,000 made between the 1930s and 2000 .
With today’s access to the internet and the growth in video sharing, countless performances of Amazing Grace are now posted online by professional and amateur musicians and singers.
Judy Collins: her original recording introduced Amazing Grace to new audiences around the world (1970) In 2020, a new version was released in support of the World Health Organization Solidarity Response Fund to Covid-19
American opera singer Jessye Norman: a tribute to Bahamian-American actor and film director Sidney Poitier (1995)
The Pipes & Drums & Military Band of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards: An unexpected Number 1 hit in the pop charts (1972)
Video from the Hong Kong Military Tattoo 2012
Aretha Franklin: live album at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in LA (1972) The documentary film was released in 2018
Arlo Guthrie with Pete Seeger: Precious Friend album (1981)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a male choral group from South Africa
Chris Tomlin: Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) (2008)
Amazing Grace arranged and performed by Rick Wakeman