strathspey Archive: Amazing Grace

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Amazing Grace

Message 41350 · Jane Smarzik · 1 Jun 2005 14:36:24 · Top

When this first "hit the charts"I remember my Grandmother commenting that she didn't understand what all the fuss was about. She remembered singing it in church when she was a little girl. She was born in 1893 in Cullen, Morayshire, Scotland.

A few more words I found,

Jane Smarzik

""Amazing Grace" is a hymn first published in 1779 by John Newton, an Englishman who worked on slave ships. On one voyage, they came across a nasty storm and Newton thought the ship was going to sink. After they made it through, Newton became deeply religious and later became a minister. Newton wrote this based on his religious conversion, and how God saved him even though he was a "wretch." To this day, it remains a very popular hymn.

Judy Collins' 1970 version spent 67 weeks on the UK chart, which is longer than any other single by a female artist. She recorded it at St Paul's Chapel, Colombia University. Collin's version was re-released in the UK in 1971 and again in 1972, and it charted again both times.

In 1972, The Pipes And Drums And Military Band Of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards released their version, which went to #1 and was the biggest-selling single on 1972 in the UK."

OT - Amazing Grace

Message 41351 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 1 Jun 2005 17:28:05 · Top

I also remember a version about that same time period where the words to
"Amazing Grace" were set to the music "The House of the Rising Sun". I can't
seem to remember who did it.

Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jane Smarzik" <smarzikjj@rogers.com>
> Judy Collins' 1970 version spent 67 weeks on the UK chart, which is longer
than any other single by a female artist. She recorded it at St Paul's
Chapel, Colombia University. Collin's version was re-released in the UK in
1971 and again in 1972, and it charted again both times.

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OT - Amazing Grace

Message 41352 · Anselm Lingnau · 1 Jun 2005 17:50:42 · Top

Tom Mungall wrote:

> I also remember a version about that same time period where the words to
> "Amazing Grace" were set to the music "The House of the Rising Sun". I
> can't seem to remember who did it.

I'm sorry I haven't a clue.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Back off, man, we're scientists! -- Peter Venkman (*Ghostbusters*)

OT - Amazing Grace

Message 41353 · Norah Link · 1 Jun 2005 19:03:31 · Top

Darn, you're making me feel old! I had forgotten all about that version... and can't remember either who did it!

Norah Link (Montreal)

>
> I also remember a version about that same time period where the words to
> "Amazing Grace" were set to the music "The House of the Rising Sun". I can't
> seem to remember who did it.
>
> Tom Mungall
> Baton Rouge, La, USA
>

OT - Amazing Grace

Message 41356 · elissa h · 1 Jun 2005 23:03:13 · Top

It was some blues/gospel group that had a blind man in it. It was a
feature on 60 Minutes in the USA, I do believe.

Elissa
On Wednesday, June 1, 2005, at 09:50 AM, Anselm Lingnau wrote:

> Tom Mungall wrote:
>
>> I also remember a version about that same time period where the words
>> to
>> "Amazing Grace" were set to the music "The House of the Rising Sun". I
>> can't seem to remember who did it.
>
> I'm sorry I haven't a clue.
>
> Anselm
> --
> Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany .....................
> anselm@strathspey.org
> Back off, man, we're scientists! -- Peter Venkman
> (*Ghostbusters*)
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

OT - Amazing Grace

Message 41357 · Norma or Mike Briggs · 1 Jun 2005 23:16:41 · Top

The Blind Boys of Alabama recorded Amazing Grace, but I don't know which
tune the used.

Mike
--
----------------------------------------------------
Norma Briggs Voice 608 835 0914
Michael J Briggs Fax 608 835 0924
BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
1519 Storytown Road Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
----------------------------------------------------
www.briggslawoffice.com
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OT - Amazing Grace

Message 41358 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 1 Jun 2005 23:44:42 · Top

They used "House of the Rising Sun".

Interesting that the tune "New Britain" so often associated with Amazing
Grace is American.

Tom
----- Original Message -----
From: "Norma or Mike Briggs" <brigglaw@earthlink.net>

> The Blind Boys of Alabama recorded Amazing Grace, but I don't know which
> tune the used.
>
> Mike

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OT - Amazing Grace

Message 41359 · Bryan McAlister · 2 Jun 2005 00:36:19 · Top

In message <CDDBB7F2-D2CF-11D9-9906-000A95C630A4@mac.com>, elissa h
<sub_sonora@mac.com> writes
>t was some blues/gospel group that had a blind man in it
I thought they all had deaf people in them ;_)
--
Bryan McAlister

Amazing Grace

Message 41354 · Steve Wyrick · 1 Jun 2005 19:36:21 · Top

Jane Smarzik said:

> ""Amazing Grace" is a hymn first published in 1779 by John Newton, an
> Englishman who worked on slave ships. On one voyage, they came across a
> nasty storm and Newton thought the ship was going to sink. After they made
> it through, Newton became deeply religious and later became a minister.
> Newton wrote this based on his religious conversion, and how God saved him
> even though he was a "wretch." To this day, it remains a very popular
> hymn.

However, it appears that Newton did not set his words to the tune we now
use. Andrew Kunz's "Fiddler's Companion" says "The words to 'Amazing
Grace' can be found in Olney Hymns (1779), a collection of Newton's hymns
made in collaboration with William Cowper, however, the work contains no
music and no tune direction was given. The tune is attributed to J.
Carrell and D. Clayton in the American shape-note publication Virginia
Harmony, c. 1831. It has also been suggested the original title for the
tune was 'New Britain.'"

I remember we used to sing a version to the tune from the "Gilligan's
Island" theme song, which of course is even further off topic... -Steve
--
Steve Wyrick - Concord, California

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41365 · Tappan · 3 Jun 2005 02:44:30 · Top

I'm not a dancer, more a musician with a new career as a teacher. My
kids are taking dance this term, and the dance teacher wanted to
teach a "multi-cultural" dance. She suggested the Virginia Reel, but
wondered if it was too advanced for my 8 and 9 year old kids - it is.
They'll never remember it. I suggested Strip the Willow - then it
occurred to me that it's been so long since I've done it, I couldn't
remember exactly how it was supposed to go. Can someone send me
directions to what folks do for the ceilidh dance version? I can play
endless jigs for them to dance to, but need the directions. Thanks in
advance. This is something I should remember, but you know, when you
get older and don't use information, it kind of goes away...

Jan Tappan

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41366 · Norma or Mike Briggs · 3 Jun 2005 03:42:40 · Top

Not a silly question at all.

As a musician and (very occasional and uncertificated) teacher, I
suggest you use slip jigs (9/8) rather than plain vanilla jigs in 6/8.

Long lines for as many as will, but works best for musician in
reasonably short sets (7 or 8 couples), so you don't have to play for
quite as long.

1. Top couple turns each other once and a half by RH.

2. Top couple proceeds to bottom of set, girl turning each boy by RH and
partner by LH.

3. At bottom of set, top couple turns each other once or twice by RH.

4. Top couple works their way back up the set, boy turning each girl by
RH and partner by LH.

5. At top, top couple turns each other once or twice by RH.

6. Top couple then proceeds to bottom of set, doing what they did before
but this time simultaneously.

7. When top couple reaches third or fourth couple, new top couple begins
the dance.

This is quite deliberately unbarred, so that the kids can proceed at
their own pace. In theory, each full turn uses two bars (six running
steps) of 9/8 music, but some people will want to go faster and some slower.

Hope this helps.

PS: The RSCDS dance "A Reel for Jeannie" is a great dance for kids.
We've used it with kids of 8 and 9.

Mike
--
----------------------------------------------------
Norma Briggs Voice 608 835 0914
Michael J Briggs Fax 608 835 0924
BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
1519 Storytown Road Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
----------------------------------------------------
www.briggslawoffice.com
----------------------------------------------------

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41367 · Jim Healy · 3 Jun 2005 04:18:23 · Top

Jan,

I have always said that the only silly question is "Should I ask this
question"?

Mike has given you some words for Strip the Willow. I have found, however,
that Marilyn's youngsters (starting at 6 year olds) find Virginia Reel a
darn sight easier than Strip the Willow. If you are keen to show off your
jigs you could always do Haymakers as a variation on Virginia Reel (which
chicken, which egg?). And I agree with Mike about A Reel for Jeannie -
universally popular with younger children.

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41368 · Miriam L. Mueller · 3 Jun 2005 04:41:21 · Top

I see someone else has supplied Strip the Willow instructions. But I
can't imagine the Virginia Reel as being too advanced for 8 - 9 year olds
- I learned it at that age or younger, and saw children of that age
dancing it in Shetland. Indeed, the most complicated part of the version
I know is the final both-sides-turning part of Strip the Willow, which it
shares. You could always fall back on the American square dance tradition
of a caller, who could be an adult.
For a refresher, here's how we did Virginia Reel:
Lines of facing partners - for children's attention spans, energy, and
audience viewing, use 5 or 6 pairs of dancers.

Head man, bottom lady, forward and back.
Head lady, bottom man repeat that.
Head man, bottom lady do-si-do (back to back).
Head lady, bottom man repeat that.
Head man, bottom lady turn by the right hand.
Head lady, bottom man repeat that.
Head man, bottom lady, turn by the left hand.
Head lady, bottom man repeat that.
Head man, bottom lady, turn by both hands (or swing, for older groups).
Head lady, bottom man repeat that.
Then the head couple turns by the right 1-1/2 times, turns the next
couple by the left (man turns lady, lady turns man), they then turn each
other by the right, etc. to the bottom. I.e. as in Strip the Willow.
Next couple starts.

For performance or impatient groups, this can be edited to leave out
things like the do-si-do, the left hand turn, etc. Or you can use more of
the Strip the Willow turning, or only the single-side-at-a-time turning,
ending at the top, after which the first couple casts to the bottom and
makes an arch for the other couples to follow them down and dance up
through, for the progression. I have been in groups that used all these
variations.

If this seems rather free-form -- it was. This was spontaneous folk
dancing when I did it, with the patterns simple enough to be picked up
easily and the exact version depending on who was calling or the local
group tradition.
Of course, SCD is accessible internationally because Miss Milligan
standardized figures and dances. But the Virginia Reel has never been in
danger of disappearing, that I know of, and so flourishes in myriad local
versions.

The American square dance tradition - with someone calling the next
figure just in time - lends itself to such variety. Indeed, CallerLab
square dancing in the U.S. turned the whole dance idea around quite
successfully: the dancers learn a repertoire of calls, and then do what
the caller says. No one knows what they will be doing next, and there are
no set standard dances, although some combinations of figures repeat and
become familiar patterns. I'm sure someone out there can give you a
better description than this once-dabbler.

Mimi/Miriam Mueller San Francisco

On Thu, 2 Jun 2005 15:44:30 -0700 Tappan <fiddlers@earthlink.net>
writes:
> I'm not a dancer, more a musician with a new career as a teacher. My
>
> kids are taking dance this term, and the dance teacher wanted to
> teach a "multi-cultural" dance. She suggested the Virginia Reel, but
>
> wondered if it was too advanced for my 8 and 9 year old kids - it
> is.
> They'll never remember it. I suggested Strip the Willow - then it
> occurred to me that it's been so long since I've done it, I couldn't
>
> remember exactly how it was supposed to go. Can someone send me
> directions to what folks do for the ceilidh dance version? I can
> play
> endless jigs for them to dance to, but need the directions.

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41369 · SMiskoe · 3 Jun 2005 05:54:27 · Top

Miriam's directions for the Va reel are more traditional than what is done
today, instead of top/foot people moving everyone dances with their partner and
does the same mores, ie fwd/back, turn,back to back.
I used to hear this version referred to as The Black Republican Va Reel but
that title died away.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41376 · Ian Brockbank · 3 Jun 2005 15:17:47 · Top

Sylvia wrote:

> Miriam's directions for the Va reel are more traditional than
> what is done
> today, instead of top/foot people moving everyone dances with
> their partner and
> does the same mores, ie fwd/back, turn,back to back.
> I used to hear this version referred to as The Black
> Republican Va Reel but
> that title died away.

I once counted up the number of different versions of the Virginia Reel I
had come across, and I think I came up with 7, ranging from 32 bars to
64 bars in length. I give the 48-bar version I learned at school on
http://www.scottishdance.net/ceilidh/dances.html, but also describe a
couple of variations. I think Miriam's dance is different again...

Common theme seems to be:

Start with advancing/turning/do-si-do with partners (in various amounts)
1s solo (various different versions)
1s lead cast to the bottom, make an arch and everyone else dances up
under the arch to progress (2341).

Cheers,

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41379 · Margaret Lambourne · 3 Jun 2005 17:08:51 · Top

You can also do this in a circle, advance and retire, right and left
hand turns, do-si-do and 2 hand turn, finishing with a promenade. If the
children pick this up qickly, you can also make it progressive in the
promenade. Dunnet Head is also an easy dance. I have done it with 6-8
year old. The English dance version of Circassion Circle is also a
possibility. A Reel for Jeannie as Jim Healy suggested is good as is
Cumberland Reel with English Dance instructions .

This is right hands across and left hands back (I do it with 1s & 2s and
3s & 4s), 1s down the middle and back, cast followed by the rest, 1s
make an arch, others come through, take promenade hold and cast to the
left all the way round.

Margaret

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41372 · Tappan · 3 Jun 2005 09:27:51 · Top

Thanks to everyone who has so kindly replied!

In the original post, I left out the part about the kids I teach
(academically, not dance) not ever having had dance classes before
February, and the dance teacher's experience of great difficulty
teaching the VA reel to 3rd graders - she's had more luck with 4th
and up. Because I've played fiddle for her dance classes before, she
thought a Scottish dance would be nice. Her training is in ballet,
but she's keen to try other kinds of dancing with the kids. I thought
of Strip the Willow, but it has been ages since I've danced and not
exactly ages, but a while since I last played for a dance, and as I
said, my memory isn't the best for dances. I'm printing out all the
directions folks are sending for any and all suggested dances, and
we'll see on Monday which she wants to do. I really appreciate all
the suggestions!

Thank you all!
Jan Tappan

Helping little ones dance -was ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41378 · Jim and Donna Ferguson · 3 Jun 2005 17:16:13 · Top

Jan,

You might check into Ruary Laidlaw's book of easy dances for children. I
used it for a children's class on Tartan Day. The dances were very simple
to teach, and even the smallest child there enjoyed them.

A few years ago, I taught my fifth graders some Ceilidh dances, then invited
the lower grade children to join us. Each of my kids took one of them as a
partner and helped them through it. It worked very well.

We were doing a unit on the British Isles, so I taught my class some
Scottish, Irish and Welsh dances. Then we planned a Ceilidh, invited the
parents and grandparents and had refreshments based on recipes from all
three countries. Different children in the class performed according to
their talents (piano, singing, reading poetry, dancing, etc.) Finally, the
kids showed their folks the dances they'd learned, then got them up and did
a participation session with them.

The only problem I had was that no one wanted to go home!
I guess you could say a "good time was had by all".

Donna

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tappan" <fiddlers@earthlink.net>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 1:27 AM
Subject: Re: Ignorant/Silly Question

> Thanks to everyone who has so kindly replied!
>
> In the original post, I left out the part about the kids I teach
> (academically, not dance) not ever having had dance classes before
> February, and the dance teacher's experience of great difficulty
> teaching the VA reel to 3rd graders - she's had more luck with 4th
> and up. ....................

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41374 · Bryan McAlister · 3 Jun 2005 12:18:14 · Top

This looks much like Haymakers Jig.

In message <20050602.174143.2844.1.mimimueller@juno.com>, Miriam L.
Mueller <mimimueller@juno.com> writes
> For a refresher, here's how we did Virginia Reel: Lines of
>facing partners - for children's attention spans, energy, and audience
>viewing, use 5 or 6 pairs of dancers.
>
>Head man, bottom lady, forward and back.
> Head lady, bottom man repeat that.
>Head man, bottom lady do-si-do (back to back).
> Head lady, bottom man repeat that.
>Head man, bottom lady turn by the right hand.
> Head lady, bottom man repeat that.
>Head man, bottom lady, turn by the left hand.
> Head lady, bottom man repeat that.
>Head man, bottom lady, turn by both hands (or swing, for older groups).
> Head lady, bottom man repeat that. Then the head couple turns by
>the right 1-1/2 times, turns the next couple by the left (man turns
>lady, lady turns man), they then turn each other by the right, etc. to
>the bottom. I.e. as in Strip the Willow. Next couple starts.

--
Bryan McAlister

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41371 · Jock McVlug · 3 Jun 2005 09:45:45 · Top

This version of Virginia Reel works well with Kindergarden kids as well as
Grades 1-6.
3 or 4 pair (couple) sets.

1-8 All forward and back, all back to back (do-si-do)

9-16 All RH and LH turns

17-24 1st pair (couple) slip steps down middle and up

25-32 1st pair (followed by 2,3,(4)) cast off to 4th place and make bridge.
2nd pair (followed by 3,(4)) dance past (below) the 1st pair to go
under bridge to top place

Repeat from new positions

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tappan" <fiddlers@earthlink.net>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 3:44 PM
Subject: Ignorant/Silly Question

> I'm not a dancer, more a musician with a new career as a teacher. My
> kids are taking dance this term, and the dance teacher wanted to
> teach a "multi-cultural" dance. She suggested the Virginia Reel, but
> wondered if it was too advanced for my 8 and 9 year old kids - it is.
> They'll never remember it. I suggested Strip the Willow - then it
> occurred to me that it's been so long since I've done it, I couldn't
> remember exactly how it was supposed to go. Can someone send me
> directions to what folks do for the ceilidh dance version? I can play
> endless jigs for them to dance to, but need the directions. Thanks in
> advance. This is something I should remember, but you know, when you
> get older and don't use information, it kind of goes away...
>
> Jan Tappan
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41373 · Pia Walker · 3 Jun 2005 11:59:10 · Top

You could also do the Flying Scotsman - kids love it - they get to run in
and out up and down and sound like a train. and you don't have to worry
about people getting slung all over the room.

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tappan" <fiddlers@earthlink.net>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 11:44 PM
Subject: Ignorant/Silly Question

> I'm not a dancer, more a musician with a new career as a teacher. My
> kids are taking dance this term, and the dance teacher wanted to
> teach a "multi-cultural" dance. She suggested the Virginia Reel, but
> wondered if it was too advanced for my 8 and 9 year old kids - it is.
> They'll never remember it. I suggested Strip the Willow - then it
> occurred to me that it's been so long since I've done it, I couldn't
> remember exactly how it was supposed to go. Can someone send me
> directions to what folks do for the ceilidh dance version? I can play
> endless jigs for them to dance to, but need the directions. Thanks in
> advance. This is something I should remember, but you know, when you
> get older and don't use information, it kind of goes away...
>
> Jan Tappan
> _______________________________________________
> http://strathspey.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/strathspey
>
>

Ignorant/Silly Question

Message 41375 · Ian Brockbank · 3 Jun 2005 15:10:05 · Top

Hi Jan,

> I'm not a dancer, more a musician with a new career as a teacher. My
> kids are taking dance this term, and the dance teacher wanted to
> teach a "multi-cultural" dance. She suggested the Virginia Reel, but
> wondered if it was too advanced for my 8 and 9 year old kids - it is.
> They'll never remember it. I suggested Strip the Willow - then it
> occurred to me that it's been so long since I've done it, I couldn't
> remember exactly how it was supposed to go. Can someone send me
> directions to what folks do for the ceilidh dance version? I can play
> endless jigs for them to dance to, but need the directions. Thanks in
> advance. This is something I should remember, but you know, when you
> get older and don't use information, it kind of goes away...

I have instructions for various ceilidh dances, including Strip the Willow,
at http://www.scottishdance.net/ceilidh/dances.html

Ian Brockbank
Edinburgh, Scotland
ian@scottishdance.net
http://www.scottishdance.net/

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