50 years after Irish America Hall of Fame member Judy Collins released her version of Amazing Grace she has created a new version that will bring together a huge international collective of professional and amateur singers through new technology which will give the song a new depth and feel.
All proceeds raised from this single will be going to the World Health Organization Solidarity Response Fund.
‘Amazing Grace’ has become a source of comfort during these unprecedented times with Judy’s version being played to Charing Cross Hospital, which received a swell of emotional outpouring on social media and over 5 million views and the now famed priest of Notting Hill, Pat Allerton AKA @theportablepriest on Instagram playing Judy’s version of the song for his sermons on the streets.
“I recorded Amazing Grace with a group of friends at Saint Paul’s Chapel on the Columbia University campus in New York City. When my recording of Amazing Grace was released it became enormously popular all over the world.
It was written by John Newton in 1772, a man who evolved from a slave ship captain to a writer of powerful hymns, and changed his entire life, becoming a model for spiritual transformation.
That’s what we need today once again. Stay safe, help others and pray for the planet. I am sending this song out to all the doctors, nurses and patients. We will survive this with love and music and amazing grace.”
Judy Collins embraced ‘Amazing Grace’ in 1964 after she witnessed marchers singing the hymn led by voting and women’s rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, and saw its equal emotional impact on the marchers, witnesses, and law enforcement who opposed the civil rights demonstrators. She considered it as a talisman of sorts for peace and started to perform the song in her sets from that point on – it soon became one of her most requested songs when she played live.
She recorded it for her 1970 album ‘Whales & Nightingales’ and connected the recording to the Vietnam War, to which she objected, subsequently when asked why, Collins explained, “I didn’t know what else to do about the war in Vietnam. I had marched, I had voted, I had gone to jail on political actions and worked for the candidates I believed in. The war was still raging. There was nothing left to do, I thought… but sing ‘Amazing Grace‘. A sentiment that will ring true with many today.
Judy’s version of the song became a global hit finding chart success repeatedly including five times in the UK alone between 1970 and 1972.
Judy’s friends and fans share their feelings on Amazing Grace, what the song means to them, and how excited they are for this new video benefitting the World Health Organization.
The video can be downloaded on the streaming music APPS below. All proceeds from the sale of the video will benefit the World Health Organization for researching and treating COVID-19.
Page created by Mary Cucinell, Irish America, Vice President Marketing and Sales