The Amazing Grace of Judy Collins

A virtual choir of thousands joins her in harmony

Judy Collins has created a new version of “Amazing Grace” which in itself is the perfect symbol of amazing grace.

It is one of the world’s most beloved and famous folk hymns. It began as a poem by John Newton in 1772, with music added in 1835 by the American composer William Walker, who adapted the tune known as “New Britain” to its words of hopeful redemption.

Judy Collins recorded it long ago, and has sung it throughout her career. As a benefit for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, she invited the world to sing it with her. Literally. She posted an open invitation to all fellow humans to join her global virtual choir. On the global virtual choir website, one could hear the vocal parts required – either melody or harmony – and provided an easy way to record your part right there on their website. More than a thousand people participated, as beautifully shown on the music video below.

Several luminaries also joined the mission, including Steve Earle, Alan Cumming, Tift Merrit, the Soweto Gospel Choir and more. The result is a slowly building choir of voices, all blended beautifully, as if they were all in the studio together.

Videos by American Songwriter

“I figured that this song is something that can be very healing for people to hear and sing,” said Judy Collins of this song she first recorded in 1970 in response to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. It became a hit, and stayed on the charts for 70 straight weeks. Now here is Judy Collins again, with a little help from more than a thousand friends, all singing one song of the ages in beautifully rich human harmony. Can there be a better human expression of true amazing grace than this?

COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented health challenge. The world has never faced a crisis like COVID-19. It is impacting communities everywhere. It’s never been more urgent to support the global response, led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Donations support WHO’s work, including with partners, to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate research and development of a vaccine and treatments for all who need them.

MAKE DONATIONS HERE TO THE COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO

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Behind The Song: Marc Cohn, “Walking In Memphis”