Listen to the beginner piano arrangement of Amazing Grace.
Amazing Grace is a Christian hymn written by English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725-1807). Published in 1779, it is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world.
Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He was pressed into the Royal Navy and became a sailor, eventually participating in the slave trade. One night a terrible storm battered his vessel so severely that he became frightened enough to call out to God for mercy, a moment that marked the beginning of his spiritual conversion. His career in slave trading lasted a few years more until he quit going to sea altogether and began studying theology.
Ordained in the Church of England in 1764, Newton became curate of Olney, Buckinghamshire, where he began to write hymns with poet William Cowper. Amazing Grace was written to illustrate a sermon on New Year’s Day of 1773. It has been associated with more than 20 melodies, but in 1835 it was joined to a tune named New Britain to which it is most frequently sung today.
* This hymn arrangement is also available in our books: