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New Britain

Paul Burke 19 Apr 18 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Derrick 19 Apr 18 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 19 Apr 18 - 09:13 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Apr 18 - 09:34 AM
Nigel Parsons 19 Apr 18 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Apr 18 - 10:06 AM
Paul Burke 19 Apr 18 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Apr 18 - 06:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Apr 18 - 09:13 AM
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Subject: New Britain original words
From: Paul Burke
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 05:55 AM

There are any number of threads concerning the tune used by AG, and nearly all of them remark that the tune was originally "New Britain". But nowhere have I found the words that were sung to the tune before AG became attached and superseded them. A google search brings up 95 million results, but all the links I've followed merely mention New Britain as the tune to AG.

So, does anyone know the original words to New Britain, or indeed any set of words to the tune that can be dated to before its adoption by AG? Wikipedia claims one William Walker made the link in 1835.

Note: I've deliberately avoided spelling out A m z a i g n g a r c e in a form that would be recognised by searches- it's New Britain I'm interested in, the hymn itself has been discussed to the point where nobody is likely to add anything new or interesting.


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Subject: RE: New Britain
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 06:44 AM

The link below takes you to Hymnary.org reference to New Britain.
The brief notes give some of the information you are looking for and clues to find more.



https://hymnary.org/tune/new_britain


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Subject: RE: New Britain
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 09:13 AM

They say it's a folk tune from the Appalachians but provide absolutely no backing for their guess.


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Subject: RE: New Britain
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 09:34 AM

Such a simple tune. Hardly anything to it. Try a comparison with 'Brighton Camp' A music. The initial phrases are different but the overall tenor....


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Subject: RE: New Britain
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 09:39 AM

They say it's a folk tune from the Appalachians but provide absolutely no backing for their guess.
They don't say it's from the Appalachians, but that it is 'typical of'. A totally different meaning.

Notes

NEW BRITAIN (also known as AMAZING GRACE) was originally a folk tune, probably sung slowly with grace notes and melodic embellishments. Typical of the Appalachian tunes from the southern United States, NEW BRITAIN is pentatonic with melodic figures that outline triads. It was first published as a hymn tune in shape notes in Columbian Harmony (1829) to the text "Arise, my soul, my joyful pow'rs." It was first set to "Amazing Grace" in William Walker's (PHH 44) Southern Harmony (1835) (see… Read More


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Subject: RE: New Britain
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 10:06 AM

Roud has no record of a song with the New Britain title.

Turner's book on Amazing Grace has this to say on the origins of the tune has this to say (about the Columbia Harmony):

"Two of the tunes, “Gallaher” and “St. Mary’s,” proved to be not so unfamiliar. They both shared striking similarities to the tune we now associate with “Amazing Grace.” “St. Mary’s” accompanied the text of another Isaac Watts hymn, “Arise, My Soul, My Gentle Powers,” and “Gallaher” accompanied the Charles Wesley hymn “Come Let Us Join Our Friends Above.”...

Spilman and Shaw found most of the tunes in Columbian Harmony in other tune books. Marion Hatchett has been able to establish the origins of all but 12 of the 159 tunes, the majority coming from shape-note collections published during the previous sixteen years. Unfortunately for researchers of “Amazing Grace,” “Gallaher” and “St.Mary’s” were two of the 12 that couldn’t be sourced...

The fact that such a high proportion of the tunes were from other books suggests that neither Spilman nor Shaw was a composer. There is no mention of writing or playing an instrument in Spilman’s autobiography. This leaves two main possibilities. The two tunes could have been lifted from a book, all copies of which have since vanished. Or they could have been variations on a single tune that was popular as a folk melody but that had never previously been transcribed."


And of Walker's use of the tune:
Among the tunes that had already been published was the same one that had been collected in two early forms by Spilman and Shaw, then shortly afterward named “Harmony Grove” by Carrell and Clayton. Walker polished it up, named it “New Britain,” and paired it with the words of “Amazing Grace.”

This last seems to suggest that there never was a song called New Britan. (Turner discusses people's suggested origins for the tunes but (I think) concluded that there is no evidence for origin).

Mick


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Subject: RE: New Britain
From: Paul Burke
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 12:21 PM

"Walker polished it up, named it “New Britain,” "

Which leads one to ask, why call it by that name? One assumes it was a reference to New Britain, Connecticut or Pennsylvania, or to Labrador in Canada. There is a Papua New Guinean island, but it seems to have been left untouched-ish by Europeans till rather later. At the time of the tune's transfer to the hymn, both the US locations seem to have been relatively obscure places, but the Labrador location was the site of some Moravian settlements. I wonder if I can find some 18th century Moravian hymnbooks with music?


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Subject: RE: New Britain
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Apr 18 - 06:47 PM

See also this: Did Lucius Chapin write the Amazing Grace tune?, with a possible 1828 version of the tune.

Mick


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Subject: RE: New Britain
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Apr 18 - 09:13 AM

Here are the words of the hymn mentioned mentioned above. The names of hymn tunes often seem to have no relationship to any set of words used with them.

Arise, my soul, my joyful powers,
And triumph in my God;
Awake, my voice, and loud proclaim
His glorious grace abroad.

He raised me from the deeps of sin,
The gates of gaping hell,
And fixed my standing more secure
Than ’twas before I fell.

The arms of everlasting love
Beneath my soul He placed;
And on the Rock of ages set
My slippery footsteps fast.

The city of my blessed abode
Is walled around with grace,
Salvation for a bulwark stands
To shield the sacred place.

Satan may vent his sharpest spite,
And all his legions roar;
Almighty mercy guards my life,
And bounds his raging power.

Arise, my soul; awake, my voice,
And tunes of pleasure sing;
Loud hallelujahs shall address
My Savior and my King.


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