If popularity is the measure, the English hymn "Amazing Grace" must be one of the most beloved songs in existence. We found over 6400 versions of it on just one online music site!
It's been recorded by everyone from Elvis to The 3 Tenors to the Cherokee National Youth Choir, in every style you could imagine — and a lot more you couldn't, including Maori, Reggae, Heavy Metal, and Doo Wop.
The hymn comes with a good story. The words were written around 1772 by an English slave trader turned Christian preacher named JOHN NEWTON. The pentatonic melody first appeared in hymn books around 1829 and was called "New Britain." It's thought to be Scottish or Irish originally, which accounts for the many versions featuring the bagpipes.
On this Easter week transmission of Hearts of Space, we spread the love with a program conceived by longtime guest producer ELLEN HOLMES and devoted entirely to our most popular hymn...AMAZING GRACE. We have versions by JOHN DOAN, KAREN MATHESON, STATE OF GRACE, WALELA, DANIEL LANOIS, SHANON, JONN SERRIE, MARK O'CONNOR, DAVID TOLK, THE CANADIAN BRASS, NANA MOUSKOURI and more.