Traditional Scottish Songs
- Amazing Grace

The words to "Amazing Grace" were written in the 18th century by John Newton. He was born in London and after a life which included being press-ganged into the navy, flogged and becoming a skipper of a boat plying the slave trade, was converted to religion and became a minister. He wrote many hymns and this one was propelled into the pop charts when a pipe band recorded the tune. You can read more about Newton at this Web site.

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found;
Was blind, but now I see.

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

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
We have already come.
'Twas grace that brought us safe thus far,
And grace will lead us home.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun.

The last verse (above) in the popular version of the song was in fact not written by Newton but was added some years later by an unknown author. But here are two lesser-known verses by Newton:

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

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

Here is a translation of the words of Amazing Grace into Scottish Gaelic. I am grateful to Ruth Nettles for these verses:

O Miorbhail gris! nach breagh'an cel;
'S e lorg mi 's mi air chall,
Air seachdran dorch', gun neart, gun treir,
'S a dh'fhosgail silean dall.

'S e grs thug elas dhomh air in'fheum;
'S e grs thug saors'is sth;
'S cha cheannaicheadh r a' chruinne-ch
Chiad-l bha fios nam chrdh'.

Tro iomadh cunnart's trioblaid chruaidh
Thug E gu sbhailt mi.
An grs a shaor bhon bhs le buaidh
Chan fhg's cha trig gu sor.

San dachaigh bhuan gun uair gun tm,
'S deich mle bliadhn' mar l,
Cha sguir an cel's chan fhs iad sgth
A'seiinn a chaoidh mun ghrs.

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