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Amazing Grace / New Britain

[ Roud 5430 ; Sacred Harp 45t ; Ballad Index LxU096 ; DT AMAZGRAC ; Mudcat 6791 ; John Newton]

Jean Ritchie: Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians

John Newton’s hymn Amazing Graze is listed in Sacred Harp with the title New Britain (No. 45t).

Blind Willie McTell of Atlanta, Georgia, sang Amazing Grace in 1940 to John A. Lomax for the Library of Congress AAFS recording 4071 B3. This track was included in 2015 on the anthology of British songs in the USA, My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.

Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson and Roger Sprung sang Amazing Grace in a 1963 live recording on the Folkways album Jean Ritchie and Doc Watson at Folk City, and Jean Ritchie sang it on the 1967 Fox Hollow Festival album Pitter, Poon, the Rain Came Doon (Fox Hollow Festival Vol. I).

Judy Collins sang Amazing Grace in 1970 on her Elektra album Whales and Nightingales.

Peter Bellamy learned Amazing Grace, “from several American sources, notably Jean Ritchie, Clarence Ashley, and Ralph Stanley.” He sang the first and last verse in 1979 on his Topic album of British and American songs, Both Sides Then, with harmonies sung by Anthea Bellamy and the Watersons. This track was also included in 2003 on the Watersons’ anthology The Definitive Collection.

Peter Seeger sang Amazing Grace in 1980 in a love recording that was released on his Folkways album Singalong Sanders Theatre, 1980.

Rory Gallagher sang Amazing Grace on his 2003 album Wheels Within Wheels.

Vicky Genfan sang Amazing Grace on her 2008 album Uncovered.

Will Pound played the tune of Amazing Grace on his 2013 album A Cut Above, and on the bonus CD of the Stick in the Wheel anthology From Here: English Folk Field Recordings Volume 2.

Cath and Phil Tyler sang Amazing Grace in 2021 on their album Some Heavy Hand.


New Britain in Sacred Harp

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.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me 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.

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

Peter Bellamy sings Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found,
Was blind but now I see.

(repeat first verse)

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 first begun.

(repeat first verse)