June 22, 2013

“If The Mountain Were Smooth, You Couldn’t Climb It.” {Wintley Phipps}

“Son, if the mountain were smooth, you couldn’t climb it.” ~ Wintley Phipps

By far, one of the most powerful renditions of John Newton’s classic, “Amazing Grace”—a gift to all of us, and as delivered by the soulful brilliance of gospel singer, Wintley Phipps.

Before a captivated audience at Carnegie Hall in 2007, Wintley took a moment to share this song’s rich history in a manner that I shall not ever forget.

 “A lot of people don’t realize that just about all Negro spirituals are written on the black notes of the piano. Probably the most famous on this slave scale was written by John Newton, who used to be the captain of a slave ship, and many believe he heard this melody that sounds very much like a West African sorrow chant. And it has a haunting, haunting plaintive quality to it that reaches past your arrogance, past your pride, and it speaks to that part of you that’s in bondage. And we feel it. We feel it. It’s just one of the most amazing melodies in all of human history.”

I cried when I watched this video today.

The notes reached out to me in a way that they’ve not ever before—past my arrogance, past my pride and through to the part of me that knows now what grace truly means.

Thank you, Wintley Phipps for sharing the gift of this song.

Video: Wintley Phipps, Amazing Grace


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Ed: B. Bemel

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