Men from Celtic Thunder sing ‘Amazing Grace’ like it’s never been sung before
The holidays may have passed already, but Celtic Thunder’s chilling rendition of Amazing Grace is still haunting us well into the New Year.
The classic Christian hymn has been sung for literally centuries now, but people’s love of the song hasn’t faded in the least.
The song was originally penned by famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) English poet and later clergyman, John Newton.
Though the song has been sung by countless famous artists, none have managed to present it to us with the same chilling air as Celtic Thunder managed to do.
So, just who is Celtic Thunder, you might be asking? Simply put, and in their own words, the Celtic Thunder website describes them as:
“a group of men from Ireland and Scotland, who range in age from 14 to 40, and feature songs that celebrate a common Celtic Heritage.“
Though the description is accurate, it doesn’t really do them justice.
In fact, they are a remarkably skilled group of singer/songwriters that have taken the world by storm.
They are highly celebrated not just for their angelic voices, which are uplifted by the enchanting notes from the Celtic Thunder Band, but also for their mesmerizing theatrical shows.
The cascade of voices is composed of soloists Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly, Emmet Cahill, George Donaldson, Colm Keegan, and Neil Byrne.
Although they are well-known and loved for their dramatic stage-lighting and otherworldly props, that’s not the approach they took to belting out a harrowing rendition of Amazing Grace.
Why? Because they didn’t have to.
Amazing Grace is a hymn that needs no filler.
Don’t get us wrong, the music usually backing the song is beautiful in its own right.
However, Celtic Thunder has proven that the soulful words of the song resonate even deeper in the ocean of the spirit when it’s sung a capella.
It makes sense when you consider the agonizing history of the man behind the words.
Though millions of people sing along with the familiar tune, there are few who know what inspired the words.
John Newton, though a celebrated clergyman in his later years, didn’t always understand the beauty of God’s grace.
However, it’s hard to appreciate grace until you’ve known life without it.
Newton’s mom died just before he turned 7-years-old. Left with his merchant seafaring dad, it’s no surprise that he began honing a career on the seas.
Unfortunately, he’d gotten himself caught and pressed into service by the British Royal Navy.
When he was found trying to escape, he was tied to a post and publicly flogged in front of the ship’s 350-man crew, receiving no less than 96 lashes.
Newton eventually transferred to another ship, but sadly was treated no better.
The crew didn’t care for him and left him to a slave dealer in West Africa.
The slaver then gave Newton away to his wife as a gift. Princess Peye was a black princess of the Sherbro people.
There, he learned just how terribly slaves were treated, as the Princess was a notorious abuser of her slaves and treated Newton with just as much contempt as everyone else.
When his father sent someone to find him, Newton was set aboard a ship to finally go home, but his trials weren’t over.
Just off the coast of Donegal, Ireland, the ship was hit by a tremendous storm.
It was so terrifying that he called out to God begging to be saved…and he was.
This was the pivotal moment in his life that later saw him become a Christian.
He continued to work and invest in the slave trade for a number of years, until he realized his true calling as a priest and set his efforts towards helping with the abolition of slavery in the UK, which would happen just before his death in 1807.
Now, fast forward nearly 250 years later since Amazing Grace was published, and it’s still ringing true in the hearts of billions.
With a story like that, it’s no wonder that the deep and harmonious voices of Celtic Thunder paid homage to the lonesome, sorrowful nature of the song by singing it a capella.
It is a rendition that will leave you in chills as it has hundreds of thousands of others.
To see Celtic Thunder’s harrowing a capella performance of Amazing Grace, see the video below.
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Source : https://ronproject.com/