The world has come together to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ and it’s the most moving thing

29 May 2020, 13:52 | Updated: 29 May 2020, 14:07

By Rosie Pentreath

Let this powerful video make your day – amateur singers all over the world are heard singing a beautiful rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ to show global solidarity in a time of crisis.

The world has come together to sing a powerful version of ‘Amazing Grace’ with singer-songwriter Judy Collins.

The Global Choir, launched by Collins to raise money with a charity single in aid of the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Solidarity Response Fund, is formed of over 1,000 professional and amateur singers performing in their living rooms all over the world.

The Choir – which includes The Sixteen, the Voices of Classic FM – came together for an epic performance over the last few weeks, and can be heard in one awe-inspiring rendition of the hymn in the video above.

The song itself has become a symbol of hope during the coronavirus pandemic, with Judy’s version being played to NHS staff at Charing Cross Hospital to an emotional response online, and by Notting Hill ‘portable priest’ Pat Allerton – known for the street sermons he has given during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Spine-tingling ‘Amazing Grace’ rings out through streets by London hospital >

The Sixteen, the Voices of Classic FM, are part of The Global Choir performing ‘Amazing Grace’
The Sixteen, the Voices of Classic FM, are part of The Global Choir performing ‘Amazing Grace’. Picture: The Sixteen

Judy Collins says, “I recorded ‘Amazing Grace’ with a group of friends at Saint Paul’s Chapel on the Columbia University campus in New York City. When my recording of Amazing Grace was released it became enormously popular all over the world.”

“The song was written by John Newton in 1772, a man who evolved from a slave ship captain to a writer of powerful hymns, and changed his entire life, becoming a model for spiritual transformation.

“That’s what we need today once again. Stay safe, help others and pray for the planet. I am sending this song out to all the doctors, nurses and patients. We will survive this with love and music and amazing grace.”

Click here to pre-order Judy Collins and the Global Choir’s new version of ‘Amazing Grace’. All proceeds will go to the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity Response Fund.

Have you submitted your entry for the #GlobalVirtualChoir yet? If not, our Associate Conductor Eamonn Dougan has put...

Posted by The Sixteen on Wednesday, 20 May 2020

What are the lyrics to ‘Amazing Grace’?

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see

Was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far
And Grace will lead us home
And Grace will lead us home

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see
Was blind, but now I see

Singer-songwriter Judy Collins leads The Global Choir in ‘Amazing Grace’ single for the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity Fund
Singer-songwriter Judy Collins leads The Global Choir in ‘Amazing Grace’ single for the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity Fund. Picture: Shervin Lainez

Who is Judy Collins, the singer-songwriter behind ‘Amazing Grace’ for WHO?

Judy Collins in an American singer-songwriter, known for rarely ruling out a genre. As well as being known for her recording of ‘Amazing Grace’ made in the 1970s, Collins won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Folk Performance’ for her cover of Joni Mitchell’s song ‘Both Sides Now in 1968.

As well as folk, Collins has recorded pop and rock music, and her take on Stephen Sondheim’s Grammy-winning ‘Send in the Clowns’ from the 1973 musical A Little Night Music made her a household name in the US in 1975.

Collins is also known for her activism and dedication to social causes.