Tag Archives: intertextuality

This classic hymn has been performed by thousands of performers and sung by millions — maybe billions — of people. And of course my marriage is the most important part of the ongoing “amazing grace” of my life.

Not surprisingly, I once particularly liked a Willie Nelson version of the song. I once saw him sing it in Pocatello, Idaho, along with the Amazing Rhythm Aces. That group was most famous for “Third Rate Romance,” but also did a song I liked titled, “Amazing Grace (Used to Be Her Favorite Song)” and one of about three songs I actually learned to play part of on the harmonica, “Life’s Railway to Heaven.”

The Blind Boys of Alabama version of “Amazing Grace” is now my favorite. I even use it in my media criticism class to help illustrate the principle of intertextuality. For me, when paired with “The House of the Rising Sun,” from which the melody is drawn, it makes an even more powerful case of sin and redemption than does “Amazing Grace” (with its fascinating history) on its own.

Lyrics here, with video below: