June 25, 2007

Manic Monday: Grace

Grace is the Manic Monday word established by Morgen. First, I join others in wishing Grace a marvelous 60th birthday this week!

Books have been written about Amazing Grace. However, it is music where the term makes its lasting legacy. I confess that I don't know many gospel songs. One that is well-known by all cultures in all parts of the world, including here in the Electronic Village is Amazing Grace.

My mom and her choir sing this song. So do many others. This gospel song performed by bagpipers, the Cherokee people, the Neville Brothers, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin and so many others.

Mahalia Jackson sang the song at the funeral of JFK in 1963. No doubt this song has been played at the funerals of over 3,500 men and women that died in service of our country during the war on Iraq. My hope is that Barack Obama or whomever comes into office on January 20, 2009 will end this war. We don't need to hear this song quite so often in front of coffins draped in the American flag.

I invite you to sing the song quietly there next to your computer. Here are the lyrics in case you don't know them by heart.

"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.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

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

When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.

"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.

Well Villagers. Do you recall singing or listening to this song at some point in your life? Care to share your thoughts with us here under the baobob tree?


Anonymous said...

Amazing Grace is a song that I've sung many many times whenever I was downtrodden and in deep mental and emotional turmoil, Villager.
I'm not of the Christian faith but have had its influences keep me from being worse than who I am.
The song brings much comfort and renewed strength to this weary soul.


Unknown said...

Saboma - I agree that there are tremendous tugs on our soul whenever we sing or hear this song. I am glad that Manic Monday provided me an opportunity to blog on it.

peace, Villager

Anonymous said...

It may seem a little strange to some given that this is sung/played at many funerals, but we had this song at our wedding. It says a lot about hope and the future for me.

Anonymous said...

And yes, I sat here and sang to myself - peace

Unknown said...

Coach - The song is powerful and emotional and equally appropriate for weddings as you discovered!

Have you considered participating in the Manic Monday weekly meme?

peace, Villager

Anonymous said...

everytime this song played i experience goose bumps. this song is very touching. great pick for today's theme.

Shaz said...

I'm singing, a song that I grew up with, & taught my girls from being very little. May Grace fill your heart x x

Shelby said...

Oh this is one of my very favorite songs. I bet it was one of the very first songs I ever knew too. Growing up, my dad was always - well usually ended being the music director/worship leader at whatever church we attended, so . . I grew up knowing hymns before I knew anything else.

Great great music.

thanks for visiting me this evening and glad I found your blog too :)

take care and happy upcoming week.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

this was also my grandmother's favorite song. she was born in 1885. it has been around a long time. i wonder if the new songs being sung in churches today will have the same staying power??

smiles, bee

Anonymous said...

yes, I know Amazing Grace by heart too, what a great post!! I well up almost every time I hear it.

Sarge Charlie said...

It was the song my mother requested for service....

Unknown said...

Mousey, Shaz, TegDirB, Sarge and Shelby - Thank you for visiting on this Manic Monday. Your village voices are appreciated!

Bee - 1885 is a long time ago. It is remarkable the staying power of this particular song.

peace, Villager

katherine. said...

Did you know that the lyrics to Amazing Grace fit perfectly to the music of "House of The Rising Sun"?

I love to hear it sung that way

Gattina said...

It's such a beautiful song and as you said it's sad that it's only used for very sad events.
It would be time to end this awful Irak war, there are much more soldiers who died there, they are officially not counted because they didn't die on the battle field but afterwards in hospitals !

Ian said...

One of the most amazing renditions of Amazing Grace I ever heard was performed by Chris Squire - the bass player for the band Yes, in a concert recorded in Germany. Most people figure a bass solo is a good time to go out to get a fresh beer, but this one was absolutely worth staying through to the end.

If you ever care to find it, it's on the 9012Live album.

Happy MM!


Martin Lindsey said...

Great choice of words the day after Sunday. Particularly as it relates to racial "interelations" through out the history of our nation.

The song for me is one of great hope and inspiration. It was written by a British slave ship captain, John Newton, who realized the moral contradiction of trafficking in his fellow man. It's a reflection of how God is so good that He even forgives people who are so evil as to support slavery. God's grace extends to everyone who willingly accepts it. (Remember the thief on the cross who receive salvation even while he was being executed?)

What's interesting to me particularly, in learning the history of the song writer, is that this has always been a favorite of African-American and white Christians. I'll bet most black people would be shocked to learn the writer had been a slave trader. I know I was.

For us Americans, that alone is an indication that we can continue to strive to reach across the gulf of cultural tensions that still exist in certain pockets of our lives - more strongly in some parts of the country than in others - and reconcile ourselves to be the best country that we can.(By the way, Thanks for providing the virtual baobab tree as one platform to help make that happen Villager).

So, if God's grace can convert a slave trader, it can convert anybody. Again, great choice of words to kick off a new week.

Unknown said...

Ian - I never heard of Chris Squire, Yes or the 9012Live album until your post (smile). One of the many benefits of the Manic Monday meme!

Katherine - I am feeling pretty dumb this morning. I've not heard 'House of the Rising Sun' before, although I like the title.

Gattina - You are on point with your comment about the tragedy of the Iraq war.

MartinWill this be the week that you create your own Manic Monday meme post? Thank you for sharing your insights and your historical context for the song. Quite remarkable when you think about it.

Amazing Gracie said...

Martin just stole my thunder because I was going to comment on John Newton! But in this case I'm glad he did because he said it so eloquently!
I chose my blogging name because of the grace God has bestowed upon me, in his loving-kindness.

Durward Discussion said...

Did you see the movie "Amazing Grace" about the British abolitionist who wrote the song?

The song takes additional meaning when you tie it to the idea of the end of slavery.

Callie Ann said...

I know the amazing grace song well. Awesome little song. Thanks for posting all the history about this. Good post.

Travis Cody said...

Music is often a great comfort.

Happy MM!

Sandee said...

Great post on Grace. Yes, I've sung this song many times. One of my favorites too. Happy Birthday Amazing Gracie. :)

Martin Lindsey said...

Jamie, that movie just came out recently didn't it? So did the slave ship captain himself become an abolitionist?

Yeah Wayne. I might have to add the meme. It's a good discussion starter.

Robin L. Rotham said...

When I was growing up, my mother played an a capella version of Amazing Grace by Judy Collins all the time. I can still hear it, even though that album was lost long ago. Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

What a great post, Villager. I've never thought about any of this before, just sung the song.

Imma Learning

Anonymous said...

GrrrUFF, whOOOfff, bark, ruff ruff.

I like it.
Thanks for visiting.

Reba Rottenweiler

Anonymous said...

I was just reading some of the wonderful comments others left here. Thank you, Martin Lindsey, for that great info on this song. After reading here, the post and now the comments, I have a new appreciation for the beauty of the song.

Blessings to all of you.

Imma Grateful

Janna said...

Very nice.
I agree with you that music can be very powerful!
Thanks for doing Manic Monday. :)

Jantics and The Jannaverse

Janna said...

....And I forgot to mention that I completely agree with you about ending the war. Something HAS to be done.

Dewey said...

Thank you for mentioning and posting a photo evoking the people who have died in this war, and thank you even more for sharing my hope that it'll end soon.

Unknown said...

Janna & Dewey - Thank you for your comments ...especially your recognition that the Iraq War needs to be concluded sooner rather than later.

Alice - We try to use the MM meme to educate ourselves. I'm glad that others in the Electronic Village appreciate the effort. I love your blog's flava and that of your pet as well!

Reba - Woof you as well!

Robin - I'm going to send you a YouTube version of the acapella version of the song that you remember from your childhood. I hope you enjoy it!

Comedy+, Callie Ann, Travis & Gracie - Thank you for your comments and your support of MM here on the Electronic Village.

peace, Villager

Anonymous said...

Top o the day, Sir.
I wanted to drop in to say Congratulations!. We made it through the first round at BTF. I am absolutely thrilled about it, too!


Unknown said...

I´ve sung this wondeful song many many times - Amazing Grace always gives me goose bumps.

Jersey has listened to me while singing.

Thanks a lot for this excellent post. Of course, I love your style - and I famed you!