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Lyrics by John Newton
Clap, sing, or play along with the rhythm cards! Notice the two new musical symbols!
Listen to this recording of "Amazing Grace" performed by the legendary Mahalia Jackson.
How did her voice make you feel?
How would you describe her voice?
The lyrics to "Amazing Grace" were written by John Newton (1725-1807). He was born in London, England and began sailing with his father at a young age. Newton spent part of his early adulthood as a slave trader before eventually deciding to devote his life to the church and to support abolition (a movement to end slavery).
When Newton became a clergyman (a leader in the church) he wrote about a frightening storm he sailed through and the "grace" he received to have survive that scary night. The song's melody is believed to have come from African slaves as a chant of sorrow. "Amazing Grace" is very famous and believed to be performed over 10 million times a year in church services, funerals and stages everywhere .
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How does the Listening Collection recording sound different from the Mahalia Jackson recording above?
(Think, track, and sing along!)
What does the rhythm sound like?
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What does the melody sound like?
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Which fingers play this song?
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