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Origins: Pete Seeger's Amazing Grace lyrics

DigiTrad:
A GRAZING MACE
AMAZING GRACE
AMAZING GRASS
AMAZING PRESS
MIORBHAIL GRA\IS (AMAZING GRACE)


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glauber 05 Mar 14 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 05 Mar 14 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 05 Mar 14 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 05 Mar 14 - 01:55 PM
ian1943 05 Mar 14 - 02:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Mar 14 - 03:52 PM
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Subject: Origins: Pete Seeger's Amazing Grace lyrics
From: glauber
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 08:57 AM

I was listening to the album of Pete Seeger's singalong at Sanders Theater and realized i haven't been to Mudcat Cafe for quite a while... time to fix that.

Anyway, does anyone know, what's the source of the additional verse that Pete Seeger uses with Amazing Grace?


Shall I be wafted to the skies
On flowery beds of ease
While others strive to win the prize
And sail on bloody seas?



Thanks,

glauber


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pete Seeger's Amazing Grace lyrics
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 09:23 AM

He might have got it from Leadbelly. At any rate Leadbelly recorded a spiritual called "Must I Be Carried In The Sky On Flowered Beds Of Ease" for Alan Lomax on 23.08.1940. Apart from the Leadbelly recording, the song (although possibly not the verse) appears pretty rare. The only other version I know about was recorded by the Second Zion Four on 11.12.1929 in New Orleans.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pete Seeger's Amazing Grace lyrics
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 09:43 AM

Sorry. Should have hit the Google button before sending my previous missive.

Turns out that the Leadbelly song is normally called "Am I a Soldier of the Cross?" and it was written by Isaac Watts. as you can see, the verse which Pete used to sing is virtually word for word what Watts wrote.

Am I a soldier of the cross,
    A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause
    Or blush to speak His name?

Must I be carried to the skies
    On flowery beds of ease?
While others fought to win the prize,
    And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
    Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
    To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight, if I would reign
    Increase my courage, Lord!
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
    Supported by Thy word.

Thy saints, in all this glorious war,
    Shall conquer, though they die;
They view the triumph from afar,
    And seize it with their eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
    And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
    The glory shall be Thine.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pete Seeger's Amazing Grace lyrics
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 01:55 PM

Watts and Charles Wesley both wrote near-epic-length poems. Hymn selection committees tended to pick a few verses for each particular hymn. Often you will find that the verses for several different hymns actually came from the same original long poem. A quick trip through, say, Southern Harmony, with Google at your elbow, will confirm this.
Also, "common meter" i.e. 8.6.8.6 tends to produce the zipper verse effect just like in folk songs.
-glenn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pete Seeger's Amazing Grace lyrics
From: ian1943
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 02:12 PM

The 'Amazing Grace' I know was written by John Newton, a slave ship captain who was later ordained


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pete Seeger's Amazing Grace lyrics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 03:52 PM

And the version we know is very much shortened.

Different tune too, I believe.


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