Tomlin contributes additional lyrics to Amazing Grace for movie | Baptist Press (2023)

Tomlin contributes additional lyrics to Amazing Grace for movie | Baptist Press (1)

AUSTIN, Texas (BP)–When Chris Tomlin was asked to write an additional part to the hymn “Amazing Grace” — for the movie releasing this weekend about the life of British abolitionist William Wilberforce — he wasn’t so sure he wanted to change the popular song.

“I was completely floored when they asked of all people — me — to write a new verse for one of the most sacred and recognized hymns of all time,” Tomlin told Baptist Press. “At first, I was like, ‘No, you don’t mess with that.’ But then, God got me thinking about slavery, and these words just came out —

“‘My chains are gone,

“I’ve been set free

“My God, my Savior has ransomed me

“And like a flood His mercy reigns

Tomlin contributes additional lyrics to Amazing Grace for movie | Baptist Press (2)

“Unending love, Amazing grace.'”

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After doing some research, Tomlin discovered that the hymn has withstood previous additions.

“Even the famous last verse, ‘when we’ve been there 10,000 years’ was written after John Newton wrote the poem,” he said.

Tomlin found the original last verse, “the earth shall soon dissolve like snow” and incorporated it into the new rendition of the classic hymn entitled, “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone).”

“The hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ has inspired generations of believers, and I hope that it continues to live on long after I’m gone,” he said.

In addition to his songwriting, Tomlin keeps a busy schedule traveling across the country leading thousands of people in worship. Still, Tomlin has remained true to his humble beginning and his Texas Baptist roots.

“I grew up in a Christian home and grew up going to a Baptist church in a small town in Texas, ever since the nursery,” he explained.

While growing up at Main Street Baptist Church in Grand Saline, Texas (located about 60 miles east of Dallas), Tomlin had an intense desire to be used for God. “As a young kid, I had given my heart and said, ‘God, whatever you want me to do….’ I didn’t pray to be a songwriter or worship leader, anything like that. I just wanted to be God’s man and be available to go wherever God would lead me.”

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By the time he was a junior at Texas A&M University, Tomlin felt a calling to lead others in worship.

“All through college, God was really starting to open doors for leading worship,” he said. “Around my junior year, I felt like it was a strong opening of the doors. I was kind of at a crossroads as to whether I was going to pursue a career in business or whatever, or whether I was going to walk by faith and follow these doors that God was opening.”

With that inspiration, Tomlin began to pursue a full-time ministry as a songwriter and “lead worshipper” — which he views as a better description of his calling, rather than “worship leader.”

“As God started giving me some songs to write, people were starting to sing these songs. It was a really exciting time. It was also scary because I didn’t know how to do ministry as far as a livelihood, but God was faithful.”

Today, Tomlin is considered one of this era’s top songwriters for the church as people sing his songs in churches each week.

“All kinds of things are involved in the songwriting process,” Tomlin explained. “Scripture is a big part of it. Sometimes, a certain Scripture will jump out in a way that we’ve never seen before; that’s always a big deal.”

After forming an idea, Tomlin said, the melody and lyrics usually come together about the same time. From there, he usually collaborates with his co-writing friends, such as band mate Jesse Reeves and Passion Conferences founder Louie Giglio.

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“It’s a good process; that way it gives another perspective, another angle, another idea,” Tomlin said. “Usually the idea comes, and I just usually sit with an acoustic guitar in my room and just see what happens. I have a lot of ideas all the time, just trying to put those ideas on paper. Worship is simply a response to God, and in songwriting, you’re responding to who God is. All of life is worship; it’s responding in that way, and it comes out in songs.”

Tomlin’s songwriting is synonymous with integrity and is impacting churches around the globe, as well as fellow musicians. His popularity among churches is largely credited to the humility and passion he displays while leading others in singing.

“You don’t want people following you,” he noted. “You want people following God. I think you see that in a great example from King David. He had a very humble heart before God and really sought after God.”

Tomlin and his band maintain a busy schedule performing concerts and leading singing at churches, conferences, camps and festivals.

While preparing for an event, Tomlin carefully selects songs he feels will best suit the targeted audience with the goal of leading others to Christ.

“Because each event is different, I try to figure out what it’s about, who the people are and where they’re coming from,” he said. “We always have a planned-out set list, but we always have options, and the guys in the band know that I could go anywhere at anytime. We have an idea of what we’re going to do, but there’s the option of seeing where the people are and through the spirit of God, knowing where the crowd is.”

Tomlin currently is on a 32-city “How great is our God” tour that ends March 23. Joining Tomlin on the tour are Giglio and recording artist/worship leader Matt Redman (who will appear in select cities on the tour).

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“Every night, people singing about the greatness of God — that is the heartbeat of this tour,” Tomlin said. “I am so honored this year to share those nights with my good friends, Louie Giglio and Matt Redman.”

When Tomlin isn’t on the road, he is serving at a church he helped start in 2002, Austin Stone Community Church — a Southern Baptist congregation located in the heart of the state’s capital. The church (which has changed locations to accommodate growth) is now meeting at Austin High School and has more than 1,500 in regular attendance.

“In Austin, the opportunity for the kingdom of God is so open and so ripe. We wanted to plant a church that was downtown and pull from the University of Texas, which has about 50,000 students. Austin, in general, has such an aversion to anything like Christian values and Scripture. It’s a very free-spirit, hippie, liberal city. … But, you know, on the University of Texas tower, it says, ‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free [John 8:32].'”

He continues, “It’s definitely not a God-forsaken place, but it is a party town. Austin also has so many down-and-outs, a huge homeless population, and lots of people who have been burned by religion. That’s why we wanted to start a church there. We really want to be used by God to make an impact on this city.”

Tomlin also says being involved in a local church keeps him grounded.

In February 2006, he was presented with his first Gold record for his 2004 release, “Arriving,” which produced three No. 1 singles and sold more than 500,000 copies. In the spring, Tomlin won 5 Dove awards, including the top honors for artist of the year, male vocalist of the year and song of the year. In addition, he was lauded by TIME magazine as “perhaps the most sung artist anywhere.”

2007 began with two GRAMMY nominations for best pop/contemporary Gospel album (“See the Morning”) and best gospel performance (“Made to Worship”).

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With the recent success and popularity, Tomlin remains focused on using these opportunities to lead people to Christ.

“When the spotlight is on me, it’s on God. I just want to be a reflection of God’s light. It’s like the moon — it doesn’t give off its own light; it’s a reflection of the sun’s light.”
–30–
Leann Callaway is a freelance writer in Irving, Texas.

    About the Author

  • Leann Callaway

FAQs

What is the message of the Amazing Grace? ›

With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, "Amazing Grace" is one of the most recognisable songs in the English-speaking world.

Who sings the most popular version of Amazing Grace? ›

Although Judy Collins probably recorded the best known commercial version, Joan Baez became linked to the song by singing it in the 1960s during Vietnam War demonstrations. Still, "Amazing Grace" does not mention social issues and is not considered a "protest" hymn.

What is the musical structure of Amazing Grace? ›

Amazing Grace (Variations on an Old American Hymn Tune) uses a mirror form. Verse four serves as the center. It distinguishes itself from the rest of the music because of the triple meter and the homophonic texture. The other verse settings use counterpoint within a duple or quadruple meter.

What's the best rendition of Amazing Grace? ›

1. “Amazing Grace” performed by Diana Ross. Diana Ross has performed and recorded “Amazing Grace” dozens of times. One of her live performances can be found on the “Christmas in Vienna” recording.

What is the whole purpose of grace? ›

Grace gives us a new life which is not condemned by God. Through God's grace we are forgiven, transforming our thinking, resulting in the renewal of our mind and heart. Through grace we live the kind of life that God would like every one of His children to experience.

What is the purpose of saying grace? ›

On the simplest level, saying grace means offering thanksgiving—grace comes from the Latin gratiarum actio, "act of thanks." To say grace before meals is, among other things, to remember that it was God, not my credit card, that provided my meal.

Who sings the most like Freddie Mercury? ›

No one. It is impossible for anyone to duplicate Freddie Mercury the closest is Marc Martel who does his best to sound like him and comes closest as any human being ever will. No one will ever be as great a singer as Freddie Mercury.

Did Freddie Mercury have the best voice ever? ›

Legend has it that the Queen frontman had an immense four-octave vocal range, could rival the singing power of most opera stars, and was pretty much the greatest frontman of all time.

Which singer has the most melodious voice? ›

The greatest singing voices of all time
  • 1 of 31. Barbra Streisand. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for BSB. ...
  • 2 of 31. Etta James. Charles Paul Harris/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. ...
  • 3 of 31. Aretha Franklin. ...
  • 4 of 31. Whitney Houston. ...
  • 5 of 31. Mariah Carey. ...
  • 6 of 31. Elton John. ...
  • 7 of 31. Freddie Mercury. ...
  • 8 of 31. Adele.

What are the 3 main parts of a song structure? ›

Most of today's hit song structures are made up of of three different sections: Verse, Chorus, and Bridge.

What are the 5 elements of a musical? ›

Musical composition is nothing but an intricate architectural combination of five parameters or musical elements: Sound, Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, and Growth.

What are the 4 elements of musicals? ›

Musical theater is a combo of four essential elements: songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The words used in a song are called lyrics, and they may include a series of verses, longer phrases, plus a refrain, which is a short phrase repeated at the end of each verse.

Why is Amazing Grace so popular at funerals? ›

Amazing Grace

A traditional funeral song, “Amazing Grace,” offers the message of peace and salvation after death. The song finishes in the final stanza with a strong religious message of the afterlife which is sure to offer comfort to mourners.

Do Mormons sing Amazing Grace? ›

For decades now, the hymn has hovered just outside of Mormon air space. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir titled a CD “Amazing Grace.” And I suspect a good many members can sing the first verse by heart. But the song has never quite broken through.

What Bible verse is Amazing Grace based off of? ›

1 Chronicles 17:16, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” While this prayer by King David teaches us a lesson of thanksgiving and humility, it is a passage that was used in a popular hymn written by John Newton.

What are the 3 means of grace? ›

Among the principal means of grace are the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), prayers and good works.

What is the lesson of grace? ›

The Lesson of GRACE: Your accomplishments are NOT what make you a worthy human being. You learn this lesson when someone shows you GRACE: good things you didn't earn or deserve, but you're getting them anyway. I have to learn this lesson over and over again. You can have worthiness apart from your performance.

What is the full meaning of grace? ›

the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them. a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces. Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God's favor or one of the elect.

What is the original meaning of grace? ›

In Middle English, the word grace originally meant "God's favor or help," a sense that we still use today. The related word gracious originally meant "filled with God's favor or help." Grace was borrowed from Old French, from Latin gratia, "pleasing quality, favor, thanks," from gratus, "pleasing." Definitions of grace.

Why is it called saying grace? ›

In English, reciting such a prayer is sometimes referred to as "saying grace". The term comes from the Ecclesiastical Latin phrase gratiarum actio, "act of thanks." Theologically, the act of saying grace is derived from the Bible, in which Jesus and Saint Paul pray before meals (cf. Luke 24:30, Acts 27:35).

Who turned down Bohemian Rhapsody? ›

British actor Sam Riley has told GQ Middle East exclusively that he actually turned down Malek's role as Freddie Mercury after it was offered to him.

Who was the closest friend of Freddie Mercury? ›

Freddie Mercury and Peter Straker.

With a study friendship spanning 15 years, fellow singer Peter Straker was Mercury's best buddy. The West End star had bonded over the 1970s and survived it all. As Mercury's star soared, their friendship never faltered.

What song did Freddie Mercury not like? ›

According to one Quora user, Mercury was not a fan of Another One Bites the Dust, and actually opted to not record it. The user maintains that Mercury only decided to record it because Michael Jackson convinced him to.

Who is considered the greatest vocalist of all time? ›

Top 10 Best Singers of All Time
RankSingerGenre
1Michael JacksonPop, Soul, Funk, R&B, Rock, Disco, & Dance
2Stevie WonderSoul, Pop, R&B, Funk, & Jazz
3Marvin GayeSoul, R&B, Funk, Pop, & Jazz
4Freddie MercuryHard Rock, Music Hall, Glitter, & Prog Rock
6 more rows
31 May 2022

Who is considered to have the best voice in the world? ›

Dimash Kudaibergen is a singer and songwriter from Kazakhstan and is a talented musician, able to play a range of instruments. He is famous for having an unusually wide vocal range and his ability to sing in more than fifteen languages.

Who has the greatest speaking voice of all time? ›

Here are the Top 20 most iconic voices in Hollywood history:
  1. James Earl Jones.
  2. Don LaFontaine. ...
  3. Morgan Freeman. ...
  4. Orson Welles. ...
  5. Sam Elliott. ...
  6. Sean Connery. ...
  7. Dame Judi Dench. ...
  8. Anthony Hopkins. ...
27 Dec 2019

Which female singer has the most beautiful voice? ›

Topping our list of the best female singers of all time, Aretha Franklin also stands as the most-charting female singer in history.

What is the rarest singing voice? ›

A countertenor is a male singer who can sing as high as a soprano or mezzo-soprano. The countertenor is the rarest of all voice types.

Which singer has softest voice? ›

Soft Voice Artists
  • Kris Allen. 295,066 listeners. ...
  • 斉藤由貴 12,848 listeners. ...
  • Cheryl Bentyne. 8,102 listeners. ...
  • 中谷美紀 8,819 listeners. ...
  • Sam Prekop. 109,074 listeners. ...
  • Sodastream. 21,327 listeners. ...
  • Darren Hanlon. 43,121 listeners. ...
  • Pin Me Down. 95,747 listeners.

What is the end of a song called? ›

The conclusion or (in popular-music terminology) outro of a song is a way of finishing or completing the song. It signals to the listeners that the song is nearing its close.

What is the first part of a song called? ›

Intro. This is an easy one – it is found at the beginning and sets up the song, establishing many of the song's important elements, such as the key, tempo, rhythmic feel and even its energy and attitude. You will find that the intro is often the same music without singing over it as the verse or even the chorus.

What do you call a person singing alone? ›

Performing a solo is "to solo", and the performer is known as a soloist.

What is the most important element in music? ›

We might consider melody to be the single most important element within a song. In everyday language, this is the element we call 'the tune'. In technical terms, however, the melody is a series of pitches, or notes, that are organised to form a shape or pattern.

What are the three most important musical elements? ›

Under the umbrella of this concept of music are the musical elements of harmony, melody and tonality. Structure – the order and arrangement of the parts of the piece of music. The element of music equivalent is the musical term – form.

What are the two key elements of music? ›

A working definition of music for our purposes might be as follows: music is an intentionally organized art form whose medium is sound and silence, with core elements of pitch (melody and harmony), rhythm (meter, tempo, and articulation), dynamics, and the qualities of timbre and texture.

What is the most watched musical? ›

The Lion King sits at the top, with a gross of $8.2 billion worldwide.

What's the most famous musical? ›

5 Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
  • The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Cats.
  • Les Misérables.
  • A Chorus Line.
  • Oh! Calcutta.
17 Sept 2013

What is the most popular song from a musical? ›

Your Top 20 Greatest Songs From a Musical Revealed!
  1. 'One Day More' - Les Misérables.
  2. 'Bring Him Home' - Les Misérables. ...
  3. 'Defying Gravity' - Wicked. ...
  4. 'This Is Me' - The Greatest Showman. ...
  5. 'Over The Rainbow' - The Wizard Of Oz. ...
  6. 'Singin' In The Rain' - Singin' In The Rain. ...
  7. 'Circle Of Life' - The Lion King. ...

Who has the most watched funeral? ›

This list of notable funerals represents considerable historical funerals, based on both the number of attendants and estimated television audience.
...
List of largest funerals.
FuneralMichael Jackson memorial service
DateJuly 7, 2009
CountryUnited States
CityStaples Center, Los Angeles
No. of attendees17,500
91 more columns

What is the most played hymn at a funeral? ›

Here are seven of the most popular hymns for funerals:
  1. Jerusalem. And did those feet in ancient time. ...
  2. The Lord's My Shepherd (Psalm 23) The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want; ...
  3. Abide With Me. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; ...
  4. Amazing Grace. Amazing grace! ...
  5. How Great Thou Art. ...
  6. The Old Rugged Cross. ...
  7. Lord of All Hopefulness.

Why is it important to sing at a funeral? ›

At the funeral, music is one way that we let friends and family know that their normal and necessary emotions of grief, which music tends to draw forth, are welcome. Music is also a universal, unifying medium that joins mourners and speaks for them when words are inadequate.

Do Mormon Tabernacle choir singers get paid? ›

Are Choir and Orchestra members paid for their service? No. All 360 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and all 110 members of the Orchestra at Temple Square are unpaid volunteers who practice and perform weekly.

Do Latter-day Saints believe in speaking in tongues? ›

Speaking in tongues was mentioned in revelations to Joseph Smith as one of the many gifts of the Spirit that follow those who have faith in Jesus Christ. Early Latter-day Saints experienced this gift in two ways. The first, speaking or singing in an unknown language, is sometimes called glossolalia.

Do Mormons believe in music? ›

Positive, uplifting music can bring feelings of happiness and peace. The hymns of the Church are a key part of worship and invite the Spirit of the Lord. They can be especially helpful in controlling one's thoughts. In contrast, unwholesome, negative music can encourage inappropriate thoughts and behavior.

What are the four types of grace in the Bible? ›

John Wesley and the Wesleyan Traditions speak of four types of grace: prevenient, justifying, sanctifying, and glorifying.

What are the 5 graces in the Bible? ›

The name, “Five Graces”, refers to an Eastern concept — the five graces of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Each needs to be honored in the full experience of life.

What is the message of grace in the Bible? ›

grace, in Christian theology, the spontaneous, unmerited gift of the divine favour in the salvation of sinners, and the divine influence operating in individuals for their regeneration and sanctification.

What is the theme of Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman? ›

Amazing Grace is a great story with a great message. It tells children there are no limits to what they can be. Not only does it reinforce the positive message that you can do anything, but it also teaches tolerance and gives a broader perspective of what can and cannot be.

Why is Amazing Grace a funeral song? ›

A traditional funeral song, “Amazing Grace,” offers the message of peace and salvation after death. The song finishes in the final stanza with a strong religious message of the afterlife which is sure to offer comfort to mourners.

What is grace Short answer? ›

ˈgrās. : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification. : a virtue coming from God. : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.

What are the 4 types of grace? ›

John Wesley and the Wesleyan Traditions speak of four types of grace: prevenient, justifying, sanctifying, and glorifying.

What are the two kinds of grace explained each? ›

Common Grace and Special Grace

God's common grace has all three points (see on right). God brings His kind treatment to everyone. Special grace, however, differs from common grace on point #3. Special grace brings favor only to a targeted group of recipients.

What is a quote about grace? ›

10 Inspirational Quotes About Daily Grace

The will of God can never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you. God's grace is sufficient for us anywhere his providence places us. Temptations are everywhere, and so is the grace of God. Grace grows by exercise and decays by disuse.

What is an example of grace? ›

God shows us grace when he answers our prayers and works in our lives. It is only through grace that we can be saved, through God's favor. When we are saved we have victory over sin and death, but we still fight to resist sin and walk in a God-honoring way.

What verse inspired this is Amazing Grace? ›

1 Chronicles 17:16, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” While this prayer by King David teaches us a lesson of thanksgiving and humility, it is a passage that was used in a popular hymn written by John Newton.

What is Grace's story about? ›

Fifteen year old Grace lives with her little sister Abbi and her mentally ill mother. Having recently spent six months in a care home, Grace has vowed that she and Abbi will never go into care again.

Which of the social issues did the author of the song Amazing Grace actively participated in? ›

According to the man's own words, he called himself a Christian but, in retrospect had to discount a number of years from his faith because he continued to actively participate in the slave trade even after his conversion, and for a number of years even after writing the song.

What is the number 1 funeral song? ›

“My Way” by Frank Sinatra. “Time To Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli. “Over The Rainbow” by Eva Cassidy. “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler.

What Queen song is most requested at funerals? ›

Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" is a longtime favorite, along with "Bohemian Rhapsody." But Co-Op Funeral Care reports that two other Queen songs have also popped up on the list, "Who Wants to Live Forever" and the Freddie Mercury swan song, "The Show Must Go On."

What songs shouldn't you play at a funeral? ›

List of Worst Songs to Play at a Funeral
  • "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen. ...
  • "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC. ...
  • "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang. ...
  • "Stayin' Alive" by The Bee Gees. ...
  • "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. ...
  • "Problem" by Ariana Grande. ...
  • "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” by Glinda and the Munchkins. ...
  • "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor.
13 Sept 2022

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