John Newton wrote Amazing Grace. What is not common knowledge is that earlier in his life before wrote the song, John Newton was involved in the slave trade where he repeatedly traveled to Guinea in West Africa. Many of those slaves who were traded from the shores of West Africa were tortured and killed during the journey back to Europe.
When John wrote the words, “that saved a wretch like me”, it was based on his awakening of the knowledge he’d taken part in the killing of over 20,000 men, women and children. Our version of Amazing Grace is inspired by that those events.
Abass told us that his own family had been involved in the slave trade, on both sides. In the beginning of the song, Abass offers a prayer for forgiveness of his ancestors to end all wars. Near the end of the song, Abass sings of light and praise back to Allah!
The melody for Amazing Grace was sung by many of the slaves on the ships, John Newton honored the melody by bringing to it the lyrics and shining the light onto the shadows of darkness.
The shadow self of this species can be lifted and turned into our greatest potential to render tranquility and humanity once it is embraced and allowed the space of vulnerability through forgiveness.
Inward peace begets outward joy!
This recording features the vocals of Abass Camara, a very talented djembe player from Guinea.
By Mimi Burns and Steve Tyler
Twenty thousand dead lay under the sea
for all of those unrested souls how do you find your peace
Floating high above you
lying near your bed
keeping you awake at night
those spirits fill your head
Wretch of a man you’ve been forgiven a great crime
who are we to sit and judge there’s only one divine
©2011 Burns Entertainment, Inc.