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Friday, June 7, 2013


At Carnegie Hall, gospel singer Wintley Phipps delivers perhaps the most powerful rendition of Amazing Grace ever recorded.

He says, "A lot of people don't realize that just about all Negro spirituals are written on the black notes of the piano. Probably the most famous on this slave scale was written by John Newton, who
used to be the captain of a slave ship, and many believe he heard this melody that sounds very much like a West African sorrow chant. And it has a haunting, haunting plaintive quality to it that reaches past your arrogance, past your pride, and it speaks to that part of you that's in bondage. And we feel it. We feel it. It's just one of the most amazing melodies in all of human history."

After sharing the noteworthy history of the song, Phipps delivers a stirring performance that brings the audience to its feet!

Wintley Phipps at Carnegie Hall tells and sings the story behind the creation of Amazing Grace.

Did you know that Amazing Grace is set to the tune of a West African Sorrow Chant?

Watch it all, but don’t miss starting at 5:40 when he hums/moans/sings it as Newton likely first heard it coming up from the belly of the slave ship.

Wintley Augustus Phipps, Sr. (born January 7, 1955) was born in Trinidad and Tobago. Phipps is an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister, world-renowned vocal artist, and innovative initiator of special projects such as the US Dream Academy. He features a "booming baritone" voice, usually singing inspirational gospel music.

He also founded Songs of Freedom Publishing Company and Coral Records Recording Company. Mr. Phipps has been the featured speaker and performer at many notable occasions around the world.

Original lyrics - John Newton

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

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

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

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail
and mortal life shall cease
I shall possess within the veil
a life of joy and peace

Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home

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

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

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
(The last verse was added by an anonymous writer about 50 years later.)

The lyrics were written by John Newton, a former slave trader after he became a minster of God.
His tombstone reads: Born 1725 , died 1807

Suggested by Hartono Gunawan

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