Amazing Grace and Gilligan’s Island – What’s the Connection?
You know the song. You know the tune. Or ... do you?
The song is Amazing Grace, arguably the most recognized sacred song in the world.
If you know the song, you probably also know the story of how the song came to be written.
In the 1700's, John Newton served on a slave ship. He underwent a religious conversion and was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1764, writing over 200 hymns for his services. He wrote Amazing Grace in 1772, but it wasn't put to the tune we know until 1835.
According to Biography.com, estimates are that Amazing Grace is performed about 10,000,000 per year and has appeared on over 11,000 albums. Among the artists to record the song are Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Elvis, with Judy Collins reaching number five on the pop charts with her rendition in 1972.
For all intents, every performance of Amazing Grace has been done to the same tune.
But, did you know that the lyrics of this iconic song can be sung to a number of different tunes.
I know of at least five. A couple of well-known Christmas songs, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "What Child is This?" can be sung substituting the lyrics of Amazing Grace.
Comedian Andy Andrews has some other favorites: