Two weeks ago Judy Collins put the call out for contributors to the Global Virtual Choir for a new version of ‘Amazing Gace’. The message was heard by the likes of Steve Earle, Judith Owen, Beth Nielsen Chapman and others resulting in something very special to benefit the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity Fund.
Judy Collins first recorded ‘Amazing Grace’ for her 1970 ‘Whales & Nightingales’ album. She used that version as a Vietnam War protest song. She says, “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’.
Now, she says, it feels like the same time again.“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,” she says.
“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.”
The track features:
The Sixteen (Harry Christophers)
The High Kings
Chatham County Line
Daughter of Swords
Beth Neilson Chapman
Voices International (Luxembourg)
GOA University Choir (India)
New York Choral Society (NYC)
Choir of the University of Luxembourg
Soweto Gospel Choir
All proceeds raised from this single will be going to the World Health Organization Solidarity Response Fund: https://covid19responsefund.org/.