"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me."
Words to a song known so well that it is often sung by rote, not truly considering the words.
Years ago, I heard a woman sing a rendition of this hymn standard. She had a beautiful soprano voice, a voice
used to singing in front of large Church groups. I remember how odd it was, kid though I was, that she sang, "that
saved a soul like me..."
To me that said she did not consider herself a "wretch".
A "wretch", according to good Mr. Webster, is "a miserable person :
one who is profoundly unhappy or in great misfortune," or "a base, despicable, or vile
Isn't the entire purpose of this phrase giving vent
to the knowledge that we are indeed wretched, vile, unhappy.... and yet by the Grace of God we are saved anyway?
On another day, at that same Church, a woman sang this song in a haunting melody in a minor key, a tune known by
many as "The House of the Rising Sun".
THIS song, THIS melody, embodied the very essence
of the word "wretch".
After all these years, this rendition has haunted and moved
me. God as ever, speaking to me in music.
I sang this song at Church Sunday, a capella as I had no
music for this melody. I was scared to death, as I had only sung this song to myself, never in public. Praise God it
went well, and hope the Church received a blessing.