This is a great story about what is probably the most sung and recorded song in history–I had no idea that its back story was nearly as amazing as the song itself.
On January 1, 1773, a former slave trader who found redemption as an abolitionist by the name of Rev. John Newton gave a sermon in Olney, England. Those words from his New Year’s sermon were recorded and gained some notoriety on their own, before they were ever set to music–that came 50 years later.
But what’s even stranger is that there were a variety of tunes in those early days that English church choirs used to sing his famous words–there was no one accepted melody for the song. But once it spread to the U.S. and was published in a Baptist hymnal in 1835, the American version stuck because the hymnal also had the musical notes.
The earliest known recording of the song was by the Original Sacred Harp Choir in 1922. Since then it has been recorded thousands of times by performers young and old, famous and obscure. When Judy Collins sang it in 1970, it became a symbol of overcoming adversity.
Watch the full video of this amazing story below and please leave us a Facebook comment to let us know what you thought!
Bonus Below: Hear Amazing Grace Performed by Elvis
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