1. 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.

2. ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed!

3. Thru many dangers, toils and snares
    I have already come;
Twas grace has brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.

4. The Lord has promised good to me,
    His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
    As long as life endures.

5. Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail
    And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.

6. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
But God who called me here below
    Will be forever mine.

7. 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’ve first begun.


Playback

Instrumental – Sampled Sounds


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MP3 – Instrumental PDF PNG
MIDI XML EPS
TXT SIB7 / SIB3 SVG

Alternate Version – Sacred Harp (early American)

The tune most commonly associated with the song Amazing Grace was not matched with the words until many years after John Newton wrote the hymn. The tune we know today first appeared in early American songbooks that were made by rural musicians in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. It is an anonymous tune, but has a definite scottish feel.

The composers of that time also used “shape notes” in their song books, to help the singers to learn sight-reading. The Sacred Harp (where this alternate arrangement comes from) was one of the most popular shape-note songbooks, and is still published today.

Those early American composers also ignored some of the so-called “classical” rules of music composition. They had no problem using parallel fifths and octaves, open fifth harmonies, and having parts cross over other parts. Although this may sound like a formula for disaster, some of the music they produced was quite beautiful, and their method of harmonization and composition sometimes produced effects that were not possible with the standard classical rules. I’ve included below the early American harmonization of Amazing Grace, so you can enjoy the song as it originally was composed.


Playback

Instrumental – Sampled Sounds


Download

MP3 – Instrumental PDF PNG
MIDI XML EPS
TXT SIB7 / SIB3 SVG

Here’s also a link to a professional recording of this early American version of Amazing Grace, so you can hear what it sounds like with a proper choir.

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