“Amazing Grace” was written by John Newton in the late 1700s as a hymn. His writing abilities help historians connect with him and his stories revealed some deep truths. Newton grew up during a prime time for the slave trade. He spent time on boats that brought slaves from their native lands to foreign countries. This period in his life spurred his interest in God, which consequentially brought him to write his hymns. The lyrics of “Amazing Grace” reflect his struggles and coming to see the truth.
This film is a great representation of how many people this song affects. Most people know this song without even realizing it. It is thought of with much ease and tends to be recognized automatically. It triggers memories and evokes traditions. This song reaches a wide variety of people and it has a different meaning for everyone. This video really demonstrates all the different people who take meaning to this song and appreciate its depth. It goes back for generations and the tradition held with this song is rich. Different families tell their stories of what it means to them and stories behind it. A woman in the video describes it as bringing about “another dimension” (Amazing Grace: The Story of a Song). This song really helps people push through hard times and brings a light to people’s lives.
“Amazing Grace” is usually sung in a church and can have a religious sentiment for many. However, it is also played in more casual settings. The film even depicts some prisoners who tell the meaning of the song to them and how it gets them through. Some people in the film mention singing it while working and it helped get them through the day. It can be sung anywhere and can be sung in a variety of ways.
It is a very open-ended song. One person in the video comments that it can be applicable to almost any situation you put it in (Amazing Grace: The Story of a Song). It can bring communities, families, and friends together under a common ground. The people in the video give their interpretations of the lyrics and it all depends on how you look at it. The song was originally sung very straightforward and slower, but the melody has changed over the years and people add different notes to make it their own. I think the song is so powerful because the people who sing it put so much energy into it. You can feel the emotion in the lyrics and it has the power to make even the toughest men cry. I think it’s so bare and honest that you can take the song as you wish. It gives you goose bumps and it can make a huge difference in your life.
It is so interesting to me to see how one song can influence so many and in so many different ways. For some, singing these hymns bring about tears and it really hits home. For others, it has a mystical element that puts them in a trance. The music brings people and families together and is rich in tradition. I love how the song has been adapted throughout the years. It was written so long ago but is still applicable and has had much time to be changed or personalized. I loved watching the different stories this song brings up for all these people. There is not one strict meaning and everyone in the entire world can find it effective. We can be so closed-minded and not understand the importance and extremity of cultures, but everyone is connected by this one song.