May

22

2010

Thabiti Anyabwile|8:24 am CT

The Black Keys to “Amazing Grace”

We’re in Daytona Beach right now, preparing to celebrate with Simon and Elizabeth as they are wed today.  Last night at the rehearsal dinner, we sang one of my favorite hymns, “Amazing Grace.”  I love the hymn for all its passion and power, and for the back story that gives the song all its richness and glory.  It’s not just a hymn written from abstract theological principles.  It’s a song rising from the belly of a slave ship and from the heart of a slave trader sovereignly reborn from above. It’s a hymn that crosses the Atlantic and blends the hearts of black and white. It’s a hymn that joins heaven and earth and lifts the soul upward.

But did you know that the tune to “Amazing Grace” probably originates with an African chant of mourning?  And did you know the tune could be played with just the black keys of the piano?  Listen as Wintley Phipps explains then sings.  This nine minutes will lift you by measures toward heaven.

HT: Hedley via Already Not Yet

Categories: music and singing

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