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Blind Boys of Alabama — Amazing Grace
Album: Spirit Of The Century
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2054









Released: 2001
Length: 4:19
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That sav'd 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 reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!

Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis'd 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 call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Comments (296)add comment
My God, I am hearing this song for the first time in my 68 years.   Holy Crap, this is awesome and bring tears to my eyes  over lost parents and pets.
Those that don't "get" this overlay are missing both the histories of the two songs and the history of the Blind Boys. Amazing Grace is a spiritual - simple enough. But so is Rising Sun - it's a song of repentance. The Blind Boys are a deeply religious group, so spirituals and songs of gospel are standards within their repertoire, but they (it's an ever changing "they" as they started singing in 1939 - that's 80 years of members dying off and being replaced) or also rather savvy in their awareness of contemporary music and it's messages. I had the great fortune of seeing them in Vancouver in 2001 and they opened with Run On - which was a current Moby hit - and announced it with "This is how REAL Gospel sounds". Their band were young and tight and despite the gospel focus they ROCKED. Take some time and explore beyond the "it's different, I don't like it" response. It's an amazing world out there.
 RobN wrote:

I don't get the purpose or merit in doing this. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

As an aside, I found the history of this hymn and its author quite an interesting read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace
 
"Purpose or merit"?  It's hard to say; maybe it seemed like an interesting or engaging idea to them.  I'm not sure why the concept of mingling two songs together is such a bizarre concept to some people; it's been a pretty common practice for a long time.  By the way,  the song "House of the Rising Sun" was not written by Bob Dylan or Eric Burdon; it's about 100 years old.
 noe.architecte169 wrote:
There is a house in New OrleansThey call the rising sunAnd its been the ruins of many a poor boyAnd god I know Im oneMy mother was a taylorShe sewed my new blue jeansMy father was a gamblin?manWay down in New OrleansNow the only thing a gambler needsIs a suitcase and a trunkAnd the only time you keep him satisfiedIs when hes all a drunkOh mother tell your childrenNot to do what I have doneSpend your life in sin and miseryIn the house of the rising sunI got one foot on the platformThe other on a trainAnd Im goin?back to New OrleansTo swing that ball and chainYeah, there is a house in New OrleansThey call the rising sunAnd its been the ruins of many a poor boyAnd God I know Im one
 
Thanks Eric Burdon 
There is a house in New OrleansThey call the rising sunAnd its been the ruins of many a poor boyAnd god I know Im oneMy mother was a taylorShe sewed my new blue jeansMy father was a gamblin?manWay down in New OrleansNow the only thing a gambler needsIs a suitcase and a trunkAnd the only time you keep him satisfiedIs when hes all a drunkOh mother tell your childrenNot to do what I have doneSpend your life in sin and miseryIn the house of the rising sunI got one foot on the platformThe other on a trainAnd Im goin?back to New OrleansTo swing that ball and chainYeah, there is a house in New OrleansThey call the rising sunAnd its been the ruins of many a poor boyAnd God I know Im one
 Chi_Editrix wrote:
I keep expecting this to be "House of the Rising Sun" when I hear the intro. Then I realize they are singing the song to that tune. Weird.
 

personally love the mix of lyrics and music. Mankind been doin' it ever since he discovered something called 'Music."
I keep expecting this to be "House of the Rising Sun" when I hear the intro. Then I realize they are singing the song to that tune. Weird.
There is a dissonance in my head, it should be house of the rising sun and the fact it is not makes me annoyed/disturbed...
 Proclivities wrote:

 It seems that the entire point of this recording is to sing the lyrics to "Amazing Grace" over the chords of "House of the Rising Sun".  It's "similar" on purpose.
 
I don't get the purpose or merit in doing this. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

As an aside, I found the history of this hymn and its author quite an interesting read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace
A story of the lyrics (psaume) can be found in the Alan Moore novel Jerusalem, je dis ça je dis rien :) 
Lyrics from God! V
 uniguide wrote:
First time listening to this song... and I'm thinking "there is a house in New Orleans..." 
Sorry, but no matter how great songs are, if they are too similar to other 'hit songs' then it's not something I can appreciate.
 
 It seems that the entire point of this recording is to sing the lyrics to "Amazing Grace" over the chords of "House of the Rising Sun".  It's "similar" on purpose.  It doesn't work for me either.
First time listening to this song... and I'm thinking "there is a house in New Orleans..." 
Sorry, but no matter how great songs are, if they are too similar to other 'hit songs' then it's not something I can appreciate.
 Johnnyb0517 wrote:
How do you destroy 2 classic songs at 1 time?  Ask this band! 

 exactly!

Rest in Peace to Blind Boys of Alabama co-founder Clarence Fountain who died last week at the age of 88.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/clarence-fountain-blind-boys-of-alabama-leader-dead-at-88-w521090
I sang this song to my Mom, just hours before she passed away. (Not quite like these guys do!)
That was 6 years ago. This still takes me to that place, only now I can smile a little bit...
The power of music and a little faith!!
Saw them about ten years ago in Anchorage. AK and they were neither blind nor very good. Lackluster show. 
 dlaumor wrote:
 C'est quand même autre chose que la reprise de Johnny Hallyday {#Cowboy}

 
Non mais j'y crois pas là un Nantais sur RP ^^ (j'en connais d'autres j'ai des noms)
 ziggytrix wrote:

You knew Roger Clark? I'm pretty sure I used to have a copy of that song that I recorded off the Doctor Demento show on the radio.

 
I didn't know Roger Clark; I guess the guy I knew was one of his "sidemen" or at least he worked on the recording.  The guy's name eludes me, but it was a long time ago - yeah, closer to 40 years ago, as Bill mentioned.
 Proclivities wrote:

About 30 years ago, in NYC, I knew a guy whose band had recorded and released a record of the Gilligan's Island Theme, sung to the "Stairway To Heaven".  Eventually they were legally forced to remove it from the stores and destroy all copies.  It's apparently pretty rare these days.

 
More like 40 years ago. We used to play that on KFAT back in 1979 or thereabouts. Always thought it was kinda brilliant. 

Horrible audio, but it still lives:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTCYLbFxTpI 
 Proclivities wrote:

About 30 years ago, in NYC, I knew a guy whose band had recorded and released a record of the Gilligan's Island Theme, sung to the "Stairway To Heaven".  Eventually they were legally forced to remove it from the stores and destroy all copies.  It's apparently pretty rare these days.

 
You knew Roger Clark? I'm pretty sure I used to have a copy of that song that I recorded off the Doctor Demento show on the radio.
Tom Waits in there no?
 The_Enemy wrote:
 AvoidingWork wrote:
Perhaps if they had sung Amazing Grace to the tune from Gilligan's Island it wouldn't have freaked people out so much.  

What also works is the lyrics to Gilligan's Island to the tune of Stairway to Heaven.

(pub I used to know had a sign banning people from playing Stairway on jam nights. One guy did the above to skirt the rule {#Lol} )

 
About 30 years ago, in NYC, I knew a guy whose band had recorded and released a record of the Gilligan's Island Theme, sung to the music of "Stairway To Heaven".  Eventually they were legally forced to remove it from the stores and destroy all copies.  It's apparently pretty rare these days.
 Typesbad wrote:
At first I thought that this song was going to be very ponderous if it continues the chorus all the way.  It didn't, and then in just a little while it kind of became great.

 
this {#Arrowu}
How do you destroy 2 classic songs at 1 time?  Ask this band! 
This is what is so beautiful about life. We can take what life has to offer and (artistically) make something out of it.
it suck big time
Worst. Mash-up. Ever.
 kingart wrote:
 
Posted: May 13, 2015 - 13:21
 

 
I just jumped in to say the same thing... 


Someone (t)here is sampling someone then.  I'm mixing them up. 
 



 
I heard it, too. Not my imagination then. So which came from which?
Blew me away.  Stroke of genius by these guys.
sweet and beautiful... amen. RIP Lemmy, Bowie, Frey, Rickman
way to ruin two songs in one go.
At first I thought that this song was going to be very ponderous if it continues the chorus all the way.  It didn't, and then in just a little while it kind of became great.
Even tho this is an iconic song from the annals of American Music History, I cannot enjoy it because, well, I actually hate the song. 
 
Posted: May 13, 2015 - 13:21
 

 aristoteles wrote:
 There is a House in New Orleans,....{#Music}

  
I just jumped in to say the same thing... 


Someone (t)here is sampling someone then.  I'm mixing them up. 
 


 Skydog wrote:
Different.
Music of one song and lyrics of another.
How about the lyrics of Hank William's "This Little Light Of Mine" to the music of Madonna's "Like A Virgin"?

 
LOL  LOVE IT
Outstanding!!  :-))
Different.
Music of one song and lyrics of another.
How about the lyrics of Hank William's "This Little Light Of Mine" to the music of Madonna's "Like A Virgin"?
 aristoteles wrote:
 There is a House in New Orleans,....{#Music}

 
I just jumped in to say the same thing... 
2 for the melody taken over one of the best songs ever... 1 otherwise!
 The_Enemy wrote:
 AvoidingWork wrote:
Perhaps if they had sung Amazing Grace to the tune from Gilligan's Island it wouldn't have freaked people out so much.  

What also works is the lyrics to Gilligan's Island to the tune of Stairway to Heaven.

(pub I used to know had a sign banning people from playing Stairway on jam nights. One guy did the above to skirt the rule {#Lol} )

 
I love that!  I'm gonna have to practice that one.
 dlaumor wrote:
 C'est quand même autre chose que la reprise de Johnny Hallyday {#Cowboy}

 
Je suis completement d'accord
 aristoteles wrote:
 There is a House in New Orleans,....{#Music}

 
Kinda cool...!
 There is a House in New Orleans,....{#Music}
LOVE this song!! Awesome. So like that Radio Paradise includes inspiring, more spiritual songs in their line-up. We need more of that in this crazy world we are living in right now!
Is this what the kids call a 'mash up' ?
 
 C'est quand même autre chose que la reprise de Johnny Hallyday {#Cowboy}
 rpdevotee wrote:
I don't like this song for anything other than background music.
 
Agree!
I don't like this song for anything other than background music.
 andrecosta wrote:
This music reminds me very much from House of the Raising Sun

 

There's a really good reason for that... : ) 
 andrecosta wrote:
This music reminds me very much from House of the Raising Sun

 
Rising Sun. From the first chords, I expected to be hearing someone else's version of that. Old spirituals whatever singer or version. 
This music reminds me very much from House of the Raising Sun
 nate917 wrote:

I don't know about that, but I was wondering — doesn't 2755 miles due east of Paradise put you in the Atlantic Ocean, 300 miles east of New York Harbor?

 
Okay, you got me. Not exactly "due east"--more like ESE, poetic license and all that; but trust me, I'm on dry land. I just double-checked with Google Maps, and the mileage is spot on. BTW, this rendition of "Amazing Grace" is beyond awesome. Really.
 Stingray wrote:

What is brilliant, please? DO NOT UNDERSTAND!

 
They usually cover this subject matter in 5th or 6th grade. Maybe you missed that day in class?

Here goes:
 
Brilliant    (brilyənt)
Glorious; magnificent.
Superb; wonderful
Exceptionally clever or talented



There are on-line courses for any other lessons you might have missed from this period of time in your life
Dieter: best hous of the rising sun copy!!
Beautiful! Makes even my atheist heart weep with joy! {#Meditate}
 Stingray wrote:
Hahaha - the real CHEFE!

Where are you, my friend? Are you even here any longer?

Tell me!

 

Yes, I still be here, you nut...  good to see you making spunky song comments...  I hope you are having a marvelous Monday there in the future...

we be dancing in soooo slow-motion...  I leave this song unrated...  great harmonies, but very sedated...
 
 Stingray wrote:

What is brilliant, please? DO NOT UNDERSTAND!

 

no one will ever be able to explain it to you, a hint,  the way you feel about live traffic. 40,000 headmen
 ccjemmett wrote:
Brilliant
 
What is brilliant, please? DO NOT UNDERSTAND!
 Lazarus wrote:
big stud Romeo Tuma wrote:
sounds like they took Quaaludes before they recorded this...
 
I be the holy ghost of big stud Romeo Tuma, and I take credit for that gracious remark...
 

 

Hahaha - the real CHEFE!

Where are you, my friend? Are you even here any longer?

Tell me!


This was simply mind-blowing live - I hadn't heard it until I saw the BBoA open for Peter Gabriel and I was gob-smacked! I now can't sing Amazing Grace to the traditional tune anymore!
 by_jove wrote:

Awesome track! I didn't know this had been recorded.

Amazing Grace can be sung to the tune of even more songs than songs that this—and visa versa—including "O, Susannah!," "Camptown Races," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and "I've Been Working on the Railroad." We like to mix up these songs for our own amusement:

I come from Alabama,
With my Banjo on my knee,
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.



 

Don't forget there are some Christmas Carols as well.  Like "Jingle Bells".  And my favorite, the theme to Gilligans Island.

Luke 15
Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

Parable of the Lost Coin

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

Parable of the Lost Son

31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Amazing Grace = Song of the Lost Son


 AvoidingWork wrote:
Perhaps if they had sung Amazing Grace to the tune from Gilligan's Island it wouldn't have freaked people out so much.  

What also works is the lyrics to Gilligan's Island to the tune of Stairway to Heaven.

(pub I used to know had a sign banning people from playing Stairway on jam nights. One guy did the above to skirt the rule {#Lol} )
Wow!!  Amazing Grace to House of the Rising Sun !!!  Like it...
big stud Romeo Tuma wrote:
sounds like they took Quaaludes before they recorded this...
 
I be the holy ghost of big stud Romeo Tuma, and I take credit for that gracious remark...
 
Amazing resemblance to house of the rising sun, never picked up on that before.
 YourNameHere wrote:
I don't care if they sing it to Helter Skelter.  I hate this song.{#Frustrated}

 
I'm not sure if most of us really care, but thanks for letting us know.
Brilliant
This was my grandmother's favorite song. My brother played acoustic guitar and sang this at her memorial service. It was a moving tribute to a wonderful and funny woman. So, contrary to your views, I love this song. Liked it even while she was alive. {#Good-vibes}  

YourNameHere wrote:
I don't care if they sing it to Helter Skelter.  I hate this song.{#Frustrated}
 


I think this might change your mind about these guys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA17BmsklFA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE4k76VjGdY

As he says at the end of this version of Amazing Grace, "if this don't make you feel good, you ain't got nothin"

(former member) wrote:


sounds like they took Quaaludes before they recorded this...

 
 


 hencini wrote:
First time I heard Amazing Grace sung to the tune of House of the Rising Sun was on XRT 93.1 driving a loaded moving van South out of Chicago. Cool, early summer night, windows down. Very memorable.
 
Did you catch their work on Ben Harper's 'There will be a Light'?
"...and it's been the ruin of many a poor boy. Oh lord, I know I'm one..."

Oh wait, thats a different song.
 romeotuma wrote:


sounds like they took Quaaludes before they recorded this...

 
 
I agree... a couple extra foot stomps per minute would help.  Can't deny those vocals thought.
nope.
Thanks RP
 YourNameHere wrote:
I don't care if they sing it to Helter Skelter.  I hate this song.{#Frustrated}
 
YourNameHere: Since you be hatin' this 'un, we'll all just forgive ya!  And no joke, I ain't no religy-ous 'un myself.

As per Wikipedia: ""Amazing Grace" is a Christian hymn with lyrics written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725–1807), published in 1779. With a message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins people commit and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God"
Well, that "God" stuff is a personal choice, but forgiveness is a wonderful and necessary human act.  Peace.{#Sunny}
I don't care if they sing it to Helter Skelter.  I hate this song.{#Frustrated}
Like all great covers, this messes with your mind, in a good way. 
This is great!  And I hate the more common tune to this piece because it's been played to death.  (House of the Rising Sun was played to death too, but this is so different from the Animal's version of that song, that it sounds fresh.)
I like all the comments wondering if they know they are singing to the wrong tune.  Like somebody played a trick on them, or that through all the rehearsals and productions nobody said, Hey that sounds like House of the Rising Sun.

Perhaps if they had sung Amazing Grace to the tune from Gilligan's Island it wouldn't have freaked people out so much.  

Try it, it works.  To get you started...  "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale..."
Wow!
There is a house in New Orleans...


sounds like they took Quaaludes before they recorded this...

 

Awesome track! I didn't know this had been recorded.

Amazing Grace can be sung to the tune of even more songs than songs that this—and visa versa—including "O, Susannah!," "Camptown Races," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and "I've Been Working on the Railroad." We like to mix up these songs for our own amusement:

I come from Alabama,
With my Banjo on my knee,
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.


First time I heard Amazing Grace sung to the tune of House of the Rising Sun was on XRT 93.1 driving a loaded moving van South out of Chicago. Cool, early summer night, windows down. Very memorable.
 unclehud wrote:

You can hear this kind of music every Sunday in churches throughout the the Southland — and on Wednesday night and Saturday night, too.  Y'all come see us!
 
Amazing Grace or House of the Rising Sun.....interesting...


 WayUpNorth wrote:
I would go to church if they would have music like this ...
 
You can hear this kind of music every Sunday in churches throughout the the Southland — and on Wednesday night and Saturday night, too.  Y'all come see us!
Hmmmm. 1 for the religious content to the lyrics but an 8 for the music. 

These guys put on an awesome show. Make an effort to see them while Jimmy Carter is still healthy and touring, he is great. Even my GF, who is a member of the Tribe was rocking out to these guys!


 WonderLizard wrote:
This is just so fucking beyond awesome. Goosebumps, chills, raised hair on the neck— {#Notworthy}
 
Yeah, it's good. {#Tongue}
There is a girl in New Orleans they call amazing Grace!
There is a house in New Orleans they call the Rising Sun. Spot on!
{#Meditate}
 WonderLizard wrote:
This is just so fucking beyond awesome. Goosebumps, chills, raised hair on the neck— {#Notworthy}
 
I don't know about that, but I was wondering — doesn't 2755 miles due east of Paradise put you in the Atlantic Ocean, 300 miles east of New York Harbor?
This is just so fucking beyond awesome. Goosebumps, chills, raised hair on the neck— {#Notworthy}
 cc_rider wrote:
 crazy wrote:
house of the rising sun?
which came first?
They could be contemporaries, but AG is prolly a bit older. Wiki says it was first published in 1779. HotRS starts showing up in the early 1800's: it's exact origin and the house referenced therein is a matter of some debate. Wiki says a couple of 'hotels' in NO are candidates. Some say it refers to a women's prison in the area, which had a 'rising sun' motif over the gate.

Interesting stories behind both songs. Love the juxtaposition.
 
Yes! And thank you for the information.
There is an amazing recording on wiki page about this song
"This recording was done for the Archive of American Folk-Song in Livingston, Alabama in 1939, and is in the U.S. Library of Congress" -
That motivates me to find out more about gospel.


Love this! Love this! Love this! 10++++++
 crazy wrote:
house of the rising sun?
which came first?
They could be contemporaries, but AG is prolly a bit older. Wiki says it was first published in 1779. HotRS starts showing up in the early 1800's: it's exact origin and the house referenced therein is a matter of some debate. Wiki says a couple of 'hotels' in NO are candidates. Some say it refers to a women's prison in the area, which had a 'rising sun' motif over the gate.

Interesting stories behind both songs. Love the juxtaposition.


 olmstem wrote:

I was singing along for about 2 minutes before I realized that they had some different lyrics going from me there.  Still nice... CCR meets Church... that's a good concept.

However... stealing music has been the ruin of many a poor boy.. um... band.  ;)

  Um, what? Both songs are in the public domain: you might as well say anyone who sings 'America the Beautiful' is stealing. Not to mention, the Blind Boys have nothing to prove: they not only are far from ruin, but are legends.

Just sayin'.


Correct me if i'm wrong but this song normally doesn't sound like it has the guitar from House of the Rising Sun?  Not that i'm complaining ...just singing along with the wrong lyrics.
 

Joan Baez - "Amazing Grace" Live:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcZrXZx3hO4


wiki

As of 2008, they continue to tour nationally and internationally, with Jimmy Carter singing lead vocals.

jimmy carter
 WayUpNorth wrote:
I would go to church if they would have music like this ...
 

I'd at least consider it....{#Cool}
poor cover, although original
Amazing!


Great song but which one of them drives that car on the cover?
Very cool reworking.
wow i love this one. thank you thank you
As this one started out, I thought, "Not another version of Rising Sun." Substituting another almost played to death (yet wonderful) song is an amazing stroke of creativity. Very cool. An 8 for chutzpah and execution.
 HombreDeMezcal wrote:
House of the rising sun?

 
I was singing along for about 2 minutes before I realized that they had some different lyrics going from me there.  Still nice... CCR meets Church... that's a good concept.

However... stealing music has been the ruin of many a poor boy.. um... band.  ;)

blind boys...
then
House of the rising sound?


 ThePoose wrote:
There is a house in New Orleans.....but it got flooded out.
 
true dat
 WayUpNorth wrote:
I would go to church if they would have music like this ...
 
Hell Yes!!! Let me know if you find one!

There is a house in New Orleans.....but it got flooded out.

 Papernapkin wrote:
This is awesome. More negro music please. Throw in some Elvis while you're at it.
 

ABSOLUTELY!!

(couldn't resist rating this "Godlike"...so to speak...seems appropriate!)

I would go to church if they would have music like this ...
You haven't lived - and wanted to immediately die - until you've heard a group of bagpipers trade off playing Amazing Grace for hours.  They love that song for some reason.  I hate it now, thanks to them.
We used to sing Amazing Grace to the tune of HotRS in the mid '70s in Christian youth groups.

Well I think its all really rather sweet wouldn't you say? Tot ziens!
It's not the same as Al Bundy's choco-hooters.