Designed & produced by Eric Maclewis



Faith's Review And Expectation
(John Newton)

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come
It is grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail
And mortal life shall cease
I shall possess, within the veil
A life of joy and peace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, who called me here below
Will be for ever mine

Amazing Grace

John Newton (1725-1807) wrote these lyrics in 1772; they were published by Newton and William Cowper in 1779 (Olney Hymns) under the name of Faith's Review and Expectation.
This text was later remembered under its two first words, "Amazing Grace"

John Newton, Englishman by birth, was first enlisted aboard a Royal Navy vessel and then after various peregrinations (including a memorable stay in Africa during which he himself was a slave to an African princess...) participated under other flags in the slave trade.
In 1748, he survived a strong storm in the Atlantic, off Donegal, and saw it as a sign of the divine Will.
He renounced the slave trade, married and then became a pastor in 1764; he was later an ardent promoter of the abolitionist cause.

A lot of tunes have been used with those lyrics until the American William Walker attached them to a tune named New Britain in his Southern Harmony (1847).
This last tune was inspired by two others from unknown origin : Gallaher and St. Mary published in Columbian Harmony (1829) by Charles Spilman and Benjamin Shaw.

Amazing Grace was finally adapted for bagpipe by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Pipe Band in 1972.

John Newton wrote his own epitaph :

John Newton, Clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy…”


Practice chanter :

- be careful at the start: do not rush the first quarter note but put a solid A before the following eighth note,

- it's a slow tempo so be careful not to rush anything, especially if you play in a band: pay particular attention to long values such as the High-A bars 8 and 9; obviously if you play as a soloist, you will have a little more freedom of expression and you can allow yourself some tempo variations… but stay accurate with a certain value of beat (56 BPM e.g.) because the good result of a " rubato" playing is not always guaranteed...,

- rhythmic : G grace notes firmly on the beat, as well as doublings and strikes; for the D Throw = the first note (G) a little ahead of the beat or right on it.


Send me an email with the number 1748 included and I will send you a folder about this Amazing Grace with a free track specially mixed for this occasion!

- score written by Eric Maclewis with CelticPipes