Talk:Amazing Grace/Archive 1

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compasionate slave trader?

"He continued to be a slave trader for several years after his experience, but with more compassion." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fantrl (talkcontribs) 12:50, 29 June 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How can you trade slaves "with more compassion"?

I would say by treating them well, taking time to ensure their well-being, and seeing to it that they leave his care only by going to a good owner who will treat them well. As I understand the slave trade, most of the slaves picked up by these ships were already slaves, and such a fate would be pretty much the best thing that could happen to them at that point. Is it still wrong? Yes. But maybe, perversely, better for the individual slave, even if it perpetuated the institution as a whole. --Paxsboy 04:52, 19 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is no evidence this experience had any influence on his slave trading or his converson to Christianity. The sudden alteration in his attitudes because of a storm at sea is, I believe, a myth. Snopes and other less easily influenced sources say this.Stunz (talk) 16:02, 3 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Most Christians thoughout history have seen no problem with combining slavery and a belief in Christ. And remember that the most devout Moslems in Arabia kept slaves until the 1960's - or still have slaves, if some reports are to be believed.JohnC (talk) 10:39, 30 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is nothing odd about the captain of a slaves transport being a Christian - most were. Half of the USA kept slaves until 1865 - but 99% of the people, Black and White, professed to be Christians. All of the slaves transported across the Atlantic were already slaves when loaded in Africa. Most were enslaved by their own chiefs, or by Arabs. They probably would have had a better life as slaves in the New World than if they had stayed in the old - free or a slaves. (talk) 08:59, 20 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Trivial Trivia

Some times it is necessary to include a trivia heading. Not many people know this but Swing Low Sweet Chariot can be sung underneath Amazing Grace. Try it out. Kosmo9288 03:03, 20 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Likewise, the song can be sung to tune of the theme song for Gilligan's Island. Someone (who I doubt has actually tried it) has claimed this needs fact checking. How do you tell people to fact check something they can do for themselves? (By actually trying to sing it to that tune?) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The words can doubtless be sung to hundreds of tunes, from many cultures around the world. But is this information notable, or verifiable? I think not, and so I will delete this section. Feel free to put it back if you can provide a reliable source. Matt's talk 04:40, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've seen two local performances of this song, done for comic effect, sung to the tune of "Gilligan's Island". I can't document these performances due to the age and nature of these small shows, but they were separate performances by different artists. I'm adding this comment to encourage others to document a more widespread use if they can. It would be especially interesting if it can be determined it's this discussion creating the phenomenon. Neondrmr (talk) 20:00, 27 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not that strange. "Amazing Grace" is a common meter hymn, and many poems and hymns were written in common meter, making the lyrics interchangeable with any tune that could fit eight syllables in the first line and six in the second. This is noted in the article, as is the fact that Newton's lyrics were sung to about 30 different melodies (and still are). --Moni3 (talk) 20:56, 27 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"A great irony of the song's history and its role in the civil rights era is that Newton reached his greatest success in the slave trade after writing the song and being born again (although this is not to imply a connection between his profession and his faith)."

This statement does not match up with other information available on

The article on John Newton only mentions his slave trade career in passing. The majority of the article focuses on his time as an Anglican priest so to suggest that reached his "greatest success" in any profession other than the one for which he is most well known, is misleading.

Also there is no indication that he continued his slave trade while serving as a priest and it was during his time as a priest that he penned Amazing Grace. He claimed to have converted to Christianity in 1748 and he continued as a slave trader for some time following. He entered the priesthood in 1764 and did not meet the co-author of the hymn until 1767. According to this page, the hymn was written in sometime in 1772 and it was first published as a collection of hymns in 1779.

This statement needs to be deleted.

Jackieplondon 19:47, 23 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

missing information (about singers who performed "amazing grace)

you forgot to mention the fact that the song was also recorded by the successful japanese j-pop singer Mika Nakashima in two different versions, one of them used in her album "BEST", and the other one in her album "TRUE", you did write it in articles referring to the singer, but you did not mention her here(both of the versions can be watched on youtube). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Forevergitsandff (talkcontribs) 22:06, 6 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The song was also sung in honor of Jerry Garcia by the Bob Weir's Ratdog on December 8, 1995 following his death on August 9, 1995.

amazing grace

christian childrens fund had a version done of amazing grace sung by a male accapella,can anybody tell me who the artist is.thank you —Preceding unsigned comment added by Latinsc2 (talkcontribs) 00:50, 23 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WHAT? Who?

"a rock version of Amazing Grace with an added chorus which has since become widely popular in the CCM community."

Who is the CCM Community? Can someone expand that abbreviation and wikilink it? SchmuckyTheCat

It looked like fan-vertising. I've re-arranged things to put it as just another item in the list of versions and tried to neutralise the unsourced opinions ("widely popular" etc.) CCM is "Contemporary Christian Music", by the way. Feline Hymnic (talk) 01:00, 2 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See #Todd_Agnew.27s_Grace_Like_Rain. The Evil Spartan (talk) 06:25, 24 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Does this movie actually have anything to do with the song? If not, why is it even mentioned? (ApJ (talk) 13:56, 30 January 2008 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Yes. The movie references the life of John Newton who wrote the hymn text. So I think a mention is fair. But such mentions should be brief, as the movie has its own article. Indeed, I've just stripped out much extraneous stuff. Feline Hymnic (talk) 00:40, 24 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ApJ: I've come to agree with you. The movie has its own article. And 'our' article starts with a disambiguation reference which guides anyone seeking the movie towards it. So I've removed the reference for the time being. Feline Hymnic (talk) 13:49, 24 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Category Mismatch

For some reason I don't see, this article is in Category:Song_articles_missing_an_audio_sample, and it has audio samples, now, so maybe the code for taking it out of that category is broken. I don't see an explicit inclusion of this article in that category. BrewJay (talk) 08:18, 9 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We must amend {{Infobox Hymn}} to include a sample. The Evil Spartan (talk) 06:24, 24 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Historical Inaccuracies

Many believe that Newton heard the music from the slaves he transported who usually only knew 5 notes or what we call the "Black Notes" or what Europeans call Pentatonic. If you check most Slave Spirituals you'll find the same 5 black notes on almost all Negro Spirituals. There are many that actually believe the "Slave Scale" is the foundation of Newton's Amazing Grace.

A link that helps :

Happy Understanding -- Taylor —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:48, 19 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Newton didn't even write the music. The tune is called New Britain and first showed up in the Virginia Harmony, published after Newton's death. Tb (talk) 02:32, 20 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is enormous uncertainty about the modern tune- it could well have been written by Newton, albeit unlikely. What is most unlikely is that it was derived from negro songs. Typical African songs of the period would not have been recognisable as spirituals. Negro spirituals arose in America, derived more from English hymns than African music. (talk) 09:03, 20 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cherokee Lyrics

The Native American Group Walela has recorded the song and the lyrics are available on their website, where it says that the Cherokee lyrics are public domain.

See the Walela Website for the listing of their recordings and see here the Cherokee Lyrics

What speaks against quoting the lyrics in the wiki article if they are public domain anyways? The author died in 1859.

Kangaroo 17:42, 28 April 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by ChrisKangaroo (talkcontribs)

John Newton seems to have died in 1807.
William Walker died in 1875. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 27 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Picture of bagpiper

I have nothing against pictures of bagpipers, but a picture of a bagpiper--even if we are told he's playing Amazing Grace--does not add to the article. It's not a picture of Amazing Grace, it doesn't actually say anything about Amazing Grace. If there were some way of seeing, from the picture, that it's a picture of Amazing Grace, that would be fine. But a picture of a bagpiper playing Scotland the Brave would look identical: indeed, we have only a flickr caption to tell what it claims to be. Tb (talk) 20:42, 22 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should number ones be in list format?

Moved from talkpages

Please don't use the undo tool (or at least, don't leave the automatic summary in) if you are reverting a good faith edit. What exactly where the "errors" contained in my edit and why did you revert it. I can't see how it introduced errors when I didn't actually change the text. Lists shouldn't be embedded in articles like this when prose would suffice or actually be an improvement. Regards. Woody (talk) 22:41, 27 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the note. What's a "erathe"? And "on several occasion". (Should the latter be plural?) These weren't there before, so the text did actually change. This information is list-like, so a list mechanism was natural way to present it when we were tidying up the article a couple of months ago and accords with WP:EMBED (that you mention). That does recommend embedded lists for some things: see the second form of their New York City buildings and their "Philosophers discuss" examples. And that information in "Amazing Grace" seems to be in that category. (Perhaps it needs a some "parental" heading text, though.) Could I suggest we continue discussion on Talk:Amazing Grace rather than here? Hope that helps. Feline Hymnic (talk) 23:31, 27 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have absolutely no idea what "erathe" is! ;) it was meant to be "era the" but it doesn't take much to put a space in, nor does it take much to put an s on the end of occasions. I do think prose works a lot better here than a two or three bullet list, as would most reviewers at FAC. The Franklin bit needs a reference as well, why exactly is it notable in the history of this hymn? Regards Woody (talk) 21:53, 28 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

amazing grace

~im doing an essay on the song amazing grace and would like anyones input on what they get out of the song -what it means to them. thank you (talk)sylvia24.32.64.183 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 00:06, 10 March 2009 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Columbian Harmony

""New Britain" first appears in a shape note hymnal from 1829 called Columbian Harmony."

Most people seem to agree the Coumbian Harmony was published in 1825. Flapdragon (talk) 11:13, 15 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is more than one tunebook entitled Columbian Harmony. The one by William Moore of Wilson Co., Tennessee was published in 1825. The one by Benjamin Shaw and Charles Spilman of Kentucky was published in 1829. This is the one that contained not one but two versions of the tune later printed as New Britain. Finn Froding (talk) 22:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tune From When?

This little tidbit appears in the article:

the tune "New Britain" of which the composer is unknown and which is in William Walker's shape-note tunebook Southern Harmony, 1835.[3] Shape Note version from 1835.

The melody later known as "New Britain" first appears in Columbian Harmony (1829),

So, which is it? Did the tune first appear in 1835 or 1829? Or is the first sentence just horribly constructed, and meant to indicate that the tune was first put to these lyrics in 1835? What's going on, man? (talk) 06:14, 31 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The tune first appeared in 1829 in Columbian Harmony. With minor variations, it appeared again in Virginia Harmony (1831), and Genuine Church Music (1832), all with different texts. Finally, it appears as "New Britain" in Southern Harmony (1835), now linked with Newton's hymn. I've revised the paragraph to make this clearer. Finn Froding (talk) 14:45, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article expansion

(Copied from Moni3's talk page):

Moni3, there's a lot of good information in your rewritten article on Amazing Grace, but in my opinion it's too long and too broad. While it's certainly legitimate to claim that the poem was a response to a conversion experience, the same could be said about most of Newton's hymns. There's really not much to the "urban legend" that connects this song specifically with Newton's earlier participation in the slave trade, or with his much later opposition to it, yet your revision introduces the author precisely in these terms. The previous version of the article was much more circumspect in this regard. Much of the biographical coverage in the article duplicates that in the article on Newton, where it really belongs. And, while it is certainly appropriate to discuss the music for this popular hymn, is seems like a can of worms to refer to the tune as a "traditional melody" in the first paragraph, when its possible origins are discussed more fully later. There appear to be factual errors in the section on "Harmony Grove," and I have yet to see a single "scholar" cite even the slightest evidence that the melody is of Scots origin--it's merely feelgood speculation, not worth repeating in WP. I appreciate your edit and your careful citations, and I intend to make further edits in the coming weeks, but it seems a little disingenuous for you to thoroughly revise and expand an article and then immediately nominate it yourself for "good article" status. Finn Froding (talk) 21:33, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi, Finn Froding. I'm going to answer your issues here one by one, and I appreciate the scrutiny on the article.
  • Too long and too broad: The article is so far a summary of what has been written about "Amazing Grace" from multiple reliable sources. As it is probably the most recognized song in the English language (though this was softened a bit in the lead to say one of the most), and a veritable American institution to the point of being overused, I don't believe it is either too long or too broad. Actually, I found that the song is so popular, so widespread, that it is assumed to be understood that everyone knows it. It is used to illustrate a number of musical techniques and only until recently has there been some kind of analysis on the song itself.
  • Conversion experience: It's not me making this claim, it's the sources.
  • Newton's participation in the slave trade: I agree this is somewhat an urban legend, but as it is described in the Critical analysis section, other sources--including some that ostensibly have quite some authority--insist that "Amazing Grace" is Newton's response to his slave trading days. The article dispels that theory (I hope clearly, and if not I can make it clearer), but as such, it was necessary to make it clear that he was a slave trader and a slave himself briefly, that he was not on a slave ship when he had his conversion, that he continued in the slave trade for several years after his conversion--his conversion was not immediate and not related to guilt about slavery, all in order to dispel the rumors that surround the song such have been widespread.
  • Traditional melody: in the first paragraph of the lead, what would you suggest?
  • What are the factual errors in the paragraph of Harmony Grove? Can you point me to sources that refute what is already there? As much of the history of the melody is unknown, there are a lot of "probably"s in that section. I have no problem saying outright that record-keeping in folk music in the early 19th century was scarce and much music was lost.
  • Scottish origin: Another "probably" (Jessye Norman speculated it would be "quite unbelievable" to contemplate that it was a slave song), but Steve Turner (p. 118–124) does go into quite a bit of detail, including some scholarly sources who insist the song is Scottish in origin. Turner also acknowledges that some of this speculation is based on the popularity of the song rendered in bagpipes as well. If you don't have access to Turner, I can summarize his points here, and if it's useful, put them in a footnote in the article. If you have sources to state otherwise, then I'm happy to read them.
  • It will take a month or so probably for someone to get to reviewing this for GA. I'm not sure how replacing the article as it was, lacking in citations, written poorly and confusingly, with a trivia section that added nothing to the overall understanding of the song, not giving it the effort and space the song deserves means that I am disingenuous. I spent a couple weeks hunting down books, bought most of them, read them, and wrote the article. I do not own it. You are welcome to find other sources, read them, and add to the content. However, as it is now, I think the article fulfills the GA criteria. It can always be improved. I think it can be promoted to featured article, and with that in mind, I will continue to improve it. Returning to my opening point, as one of the most popular or recognizable song, it means many things to many people. It is going through a peer review. I am soliciting all the opinions I can from experienced editors on Wikipedia. I hope you will participate because the topic is a worthy one. --Moni3 (talk) 22:09, 14 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for your responses. I will certainly take these into account, and will continue minor edits with a view toward addressing some of the questions, including Harmony Grove and the tune's relation to tradition. You write, quite reasonably, "The article is so far a summary of what has been written about "Amazing Grace" from multiple reliable sources." The thing is that much of what is written is not really about the poem, but about Newton's life, with a huge dose of conjecture trying to connect this one poem, uniquely, with these specific events. I have not found any evidence that Newton, or any of his contemporaries, made such a connection that isn't true of many of his other 280-some poems such as "Afflictions though they seem severe," or "Nay, I cannot let thee go." "'Tis passed--the dreadful stormy night," "When the poor pris’ner through a grate," etc. But because the song is a pop-culture fetish, it seems to invite conjecture, because anything that popular must have a good story, eh? Yes, it is a spiritual song about conversion, and the author was indeed a convert. But I suggest that it would be useful to incorporate much of the biographical detail on Newton into the Newton article and merely summarize the most verifiably relevant biography in the Amazing grace article.

I am familiar with the musical literature, and have Turner's book, which has turned up much useful information. He cites Harmony Grove, correctly, as the 1831 title of the now-familiar tune as printed in Virginia Harmony (1831). His only substantial citation on Scots origins of the tune is a comment by Peter van der Merwe, an author known for speculative flights. Richard Taruskin, while praising one of his recent works, characterizes the author as follows (Music and Letters 81 (2007): 134-9): "Its author, a South African librarian, is a self-taught, amateur musicologist with an eccentric vocabulary and a propensity for overstatement that he is loath to restrain. Its thesis is uncontroversial but the author is naive enough to believe that he is setting the world on its ear with it. Its method is cheerfully ‘verificationist’ or confirmation-biased, and it uses its debased standards of proof to advance historiographical absurdities." If this is the only source making such a claim, it's certainly suspect. There are strong reasons to suppose that the tune circulated in oral tradition before its 1829 publication--the publication history itself suggests this, with many variants appearing in the southern U.S. within a few years. To suggest an ultimate origin in the British Isles however, and even to narrow down the specific part of that archipelago, is treading on thin ice. Enough for now, I'll return to the article soon, but carefully and verifiably. Cheers. Finn Froding (talk) 18:35, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, Finn Froding.
On Newton's life: this is a matter that may be somewhat deceptive about Newton's life in relation to the best reliable sources. I do my best to find the the most authoritative. There are two sources that are article/chapter length sources about the song. One by Pollock and one by Hindmarsh in Noll and Blumhofer. Both discuss the details of Newton's life, which they got, I'm assuming, from his journals and biographies published before 2000. So I went where they did and read Newton's autobiography in his letters to the Earl of Dartmouth, and two other biographies to round out the sources so they wouldn't all be autobiographical or pre-1950. Turner, as you know, also discusses Newton's life, as does Bill Moyers, so with four sources and more still yet to be found, it seems a summary of Newton's biography is an integral part of this article.
I think there is some value in stating that other Newton hymns also address his conversion and life of sin, but of course, why this one took on a different life should be addressed in the article. So what I will look for over the next few days are statements from sources about the general nature of Newton's hymns and what they addressed to make the point that this is not the only one of his that speaks of grace and conversions.
If it's the size of the article that concerns you, with some experience writing FAs, this is a relatively medium sized one that I don't plan on expanding too terribly much, especially not the details of Newton's life. Newton's life in this article is a very bare-bones overview of what the sources have stated are the most important parts, even as they relate the highlights of his life to the words of the hymn.
I was unaware of the Music and Letters source, so I will search for it and see what it says. I copied the list of sources at the Library of Congress "Amazing Grace" collection and used what I have access to, and have searched what I can think of, as well as collecting what I can from bibliographies in what sources I have found. It's inevitable that I'm going to miss some, so I am always happy to find them where I can. I think with multiple sources that speculate on the origins of "New Britain", "St. Mary", and "Galaher", it would not be difficult to simply say what musicologists or anthropologists think of the songs' origins. Some older sources work with the origins of William Walker as a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, writing the songs he may have heard there. Others work with the Virginia Harmony. The wording that is in the article now, scholars speculate that they may have been Scottish folk ballads does not state anything for sure, but merely what scholars have speculated. Because much folk music history before 1829 was lost, I have no problem making a clear statement that it is ultimately impossible so far to know for sure where the song came from but that some theories include Scotland, Virginia, et al.
I look forward to improving this article with you and discussing our progress here. --Moni3 (talk) 23:34, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Too much about Newton

Too much about Newton. It should be severely chopped. The paragraphs for the whole piece are too long anyway, and so is the lead. Yours, GeorgeLouis (talk) 19:35, 16 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First, sources about this song almost invariably include information about Newton's life: like almost all of his life. The article should be a summary of what sources cover. I disagree with your assessment about the amount of space dedicated to Newton. If you would like to discuss why this is necessary, I am happy to do that.
Secondly, I'm going to have to revert the changes to the 600 px wide image of Southern Harmony and the right-aligned Table of Contents. They look unspeakably bad on my 1200-pixel wide browser. --Moni3 (talk) 19:37, 16 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One idea would be to have a separate but linked article about Newton's life, rather than chopping information. That would make the article more concise about the hymn, while the historical information about the great man's life would be easily referenced by those interested, and probably easier to find by those searching for historical information about the author. (talk) 11:19, 1 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Two Sixth Verses

There appears to be two versions of the sixth verse. One that starts "When we've been there ten thousand years.." and another that starts "the earth will soon dissolve like snow..." Which one is right? Tallarchangel (talk) 03:12, 26 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Newton's original sixth verse is "The earth will soon dissolve like snow...". Edwin Othello Excell published a hymnal (see the Urban revival section) that popularized a version of four verses: Newton's first three and a fourth verse not written by Newton starting with "When we've been there ten thousand years..." There have been dozens of versions of Newton's verses set to different music, with his verses, with other verses. I'm not sure there is such a thing as a right version, though. --Moni3 (talk) 13:34, 26 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Isn't the appropriate term "negro spiritual"?

What exactly is an "African American spiritual"? Slaves were not US citizens, so this seems to be an anachronistic term on some level. Moreover, the term "negro spiritual" is used on the Wikipedia page that it links to. Copious examples of the use of negro spiritual are available. "African American spiritual" sounds like a neologism. Would like to change. HedgeFundBob (talk) 09:45, 17 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, this can be debated I guess. Africans didn't come over on slave ships singing Christian songs. It took a generation or two. But the article on Spiritual seems to assert that "Negro spiritual" is the proper terminology. It's cited five times, but none of them are really reliable sources. Do you know of an authoritative source, as in an encyclopedia of music or some such, that would confirm this is the term used for this genre of music? --Moni3 (talk) 12:45, 17 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Three Questions

I have three questions regarding the reversion of my recent edits by User:Moni3:

  1. In this case, I am concerned about the word "allowed". This word endorses a particular theological interpretation of Newton's conversion, and in fact one that Newton himself would have rejected. Even if this is what your source Turner said (I do not currently have a copy of his book), it is inappropriate for WP to take sides on controversial issues.
  2. In this case, your language implies that the modern "communal understanding of redemption" is to reject Calvinism. Clearly it is incorrect to imply that there is even such a thing as a single "communal understanding" of such a fundamental theological topic, nor is it correct to claim the demise of Calvinism. Again, even if this is what your source says, it is inappropriate.
  3. In this case, I honestly have no idea which "disparity" is being referred to. If you can explain your meaning, I might be more comfortable with the current text or may be better able to suggest a rewording that you would accept.

Thank you, --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 14:42, 14 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"allowed": is cited to Turner, who discusses the Calvinistic roots of the song, but also notes that it is adaptable to other schools of thought. Bruner and Ware (Turner also) discuss Newton's pride as an obstacle to his being able to accept the messages he was being sent by God to bring a full transformation. The "allowed" refers to Newton acknowledging at the lowest point in his life that he had no more pride left and was thus able to allow the transformation to take place. It is supported by Newton's own words. As I stated in the edit summary, if you have differing sources that speak to another interpretation, please provide them. No doubt a section on "interpretations" is going to provide multiple views. --Moni3 (talk) 16:57, 14 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Firstly, I totally agree with the point that the song is acceptable to a wide variety of schools of thought despite its Calvinist roots. My edits were partly an effort to better emphasize this point. As for "allowed", I agree with anything along the lines that Newton "gave in", abandoned his pride, embraced God, etc. The question is at whose ultimate will did these events take place, Newton's or God's. The current wording comes firmly down to say it was Newton's, while I suggest WP should not be wading into such deep waters. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 20:32, 14 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The communal understanding is again Turner's point. This is more secular pop psychology, New Age religion, and self-help. It is not meant to imply that religions themselves have changed. "Communal" can be changed to "popular" or some other similar word. If you have a suggestion, please provide it. --Moni3 (talk) 16:57, 14 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, I have provided a suggestion, and you haven't given much of a specific reason against it. "Popular" would be a small improvement, but it leaves intact the chronological sense that Calvinism was then and pop-psych is now, which is distractingly controversial at best (more below). My text simply sidesteps the issue. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 20:32, 14 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The disparity refers to the before and after views of Grace. Where the Calvinist view of Grace is God choosing the person to give Grace to, the popular or communal recent interpretations are saying that Grace is within all people and we must work hard enough to find it. --Moni3 (talk) 16:57, 14 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When you say "before and after", do you mean Calvinist and pop-psych? Such a chronological view is untenable, because not only is Calvinism alive and well today, but the view that salvation comes from "grace within" was extant in Newton's time and dates at least to Pelagius in the 5th century. Here again, you haven't given a good reason against my edit. Pop-psych types are not primarily thinking about the disparity between their view of grace and that of others, they're simply thinking about their view of grace, which is the general sense of my edit. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 20:32, 14 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like BlueMoonlet's edits and I feel that his/her reasoning is solid. This article is giving "Turner" a lot of authority. I'd like to know more about this person. Is s/he in wikipedia? Gandydancer (talk) 23:44, 14 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm slow in responding because I have a bad sinus infection and I'm pretty heavily drugged. Gandydancer, maybe because of the drugs here I take it you think Steve Turner (a he) is not a reliable source? Have you read the book? I take it not, because you don't know Steve is a he. What kind of vetting of a source are you suggesting needs to be done? An entire book is written about the song. But not reliable enough for you then? Why so?
I overturned BlueMoonlet's edits because s/he did not counter with a source that disagrees with the wording or made any mention that the sources used are not reliable. Once I can actually keep a single thought in my head, hopefully in a day or so, I'll be able to suss out if this is a matter of semantics. That's very often the case. Apologies for not tackling this immediately. I hope it can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction in a couple days. --Moni3 (talk) 00:41, 15 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not in a rush, and I hope you feel better. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 01:04, 15 October 2010 (UTC) (P.S., I'm a "he")Reply[reply]
Hi there to both of you. I wrote a rather long post this morning and BAM! I lost it. I live on the US East Coast and we had storms this morning and the power went out for a moment. Moni3, I know you are a good editor and that you have worked very hard on this article, so I take a disagreement with you quite seriously! But I just cannot bear to try a repost, but I will try to mention a few of my thoughts. As for Turner, I did find him on Amazon and I am not ready to see him as any sort of expert on what Newton may have been thinking or experiencing. Also, Turner seems to think that new age thought seems to now prevail with redemption and self worth being seen as an "innate quality within all people who must be inspired or strong enough to find it", however the Evangelical "born again" experience in which God removes our sin is a large and growing movement. Like BlueMoonLet, I'm in no hurry and I hope you feel better soon. Gandydancer (talk) 00:31, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I edited my post a little to make my thoughts clearer. Gandydancer (talk) 11:40, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Retracking the discussion. BlueMoonlet added this paragraph: Over the years, "Amazing Grace" has been loved and valued by many people who do not share Newton's Calvinistic view of redemption and divine grace. Steve Turner explains this phenomenon as an example of Newton's subtlety, saying that the song's "theological distinctives were buried in its sinews rather than tattooed on its skin." For example, "when Newton referred to himself as a 'wretch' it was with total depravity in mind, but an opponent of the doctrine... could take it to mean a feeling of despondency. Likewise, 'I once was lost but now am found' was meant by Newton to emphasize his inability to save himself and thus his utter dependence on God, but it could be taken to mean 'I once felt confused and unsure of my direction in life but now I feel as though I am on the right path'."

I think this paragraph can be incorporated into the first in the section, which discusses the differing meanings of Newton's wretchedness. As it appears, the "wretch" discussion is addressed in the first and then third paragraphs, broken by the second. This is incongruous and ungraceful. See what I did there? Ha. Anyway...I have concerns about points being made succinctly and using as few words as possible while still being written on a professional level. The quotes by Turner are, in my opinion, too extensive and should be paraphrased. If Turner's own words are making the point for us, it should be quoted in full, and ideally, a comment that could never be made by Wikipedia: one that espouses a clear emotional or value opinion, which we are precluded from making by the NPOV policy.

I've attempted to join the two paragraphs:

In recent years, the words of the hymn have been changed in some religious publications to downplay a sense of imposed self-loathing by its singers. The second line, "That saved a wretch like me!" has been rewritten as "That saved and strengthened me", "save a soul like me", or "that saved and set me free". Kathleen Norris in her book Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith characterizes this transformation of the original words as "wretched English" making the line that replaces the original "laughably bland". Part of the reason for this change has been the altered interpretations of what wretchedness and grace means. Newton's Calvinistic view of redemption and divine grace formed his perspective that he considered himself as a sinner so vile that he was unable to change his life or be redeemed without God's help. Yet his lyrical subtlety, in Steve Turner's opinion, leaves the hymn's meaning open to a variety of Christian and non-Christian interpretations. "Wretch" also represents a period in Newton's life when he saw himself outcast and miserable, as he was when he was enslaved in Sierra Leone; his own arrogance was matched by how far he had fallen in his life.

Now I'm rather stuck in incorporating the following parts of what I wrote and what you did:

When Newton allowed his conversion to take place, it was a profound supernatural transformation. And

For example, "when Newton referred to himself as a 'wretch' it was with total depravity in mind, but an opponent of the doctrine... could take it to mean a feeling of despondency. Likewise, 'I once was lost but now am found' was meant by Newton to emphasize his inability to save himself and thus his utter dependence on God, but it could be taken to mean 'I once felt confused and unsure of my direction in life but now I feel as though I am on the right path'

BlueMoonlet, you seem to have a special interest (and this is not an accusation, just an observation) in Newton's Calvinist theological roots. When I constructed the article, I do not recall coming across points that were made in multiple sources that discussed Calvinism. Certainly it is in Turner, but usually if I'm hit over the head with a point by multiple sources then I include it in the article. I also have no background in theology or any particular religious influence, so I wrote only what I thought was covered by sources. After writing multiple featured articles on Wikipedia, I understand that when I form the majority of the article myself I inevitably color the material using my own values. I just hope I do it as fairly as possible most of the time. If I have no particular religious views, then none strike me as significant when they are mentioned in the sources.

So I'm not quite understanding your point: are you saying it's inaccurate that "Newton allowed his conversion to take place" if Newton was a strict Calvinist? The Bruner and Ware source I have makes it seem as if Newton had to reach his lowest point, the bottom of the barrel so to speak, in order to be able to accept God's salvation. In a less proselytizing way to write that, it came out as "allowed his conversion to take place". If you have specific objections to the way that's written, can you provide alternate wording? --Moni3 (talk) 16:23, 21 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, it is true that my primary interest in this article is to improve its discussion of Newton's Calvinism, and to point out that the hymn's popularity extends far beyond theological distinctives.
I knew the quote was too long, but I thought the job of incorporating into the text you had already written was best left to you. And I think you've done a great job. I might tweak it a little bit, such as perhaps actually mentioning total depravity, and perhaps also mentioning Turner's "once was lost" example (though perhaps one example is enough). You seem to be saying that the "allowed" bit is not fitting into your new paragraph; does that mean it could perhaps just be dropped? I think the last sentence in your new paragraph might cover that point well enough? --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 20:34, 21 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think both Bruener and Ware and Turner are saying that there are two meanings to "wretch": Newton's total depravity, profanity, sin, etc., and his fall from pride. The sources make it seem as if Newton may not ever have had his conversion unless he was distanced from his pride, until he hit bottom. So, as I understand Calvinism, that God chooses the person and the circumstances under which the person comes to God, thus there is no personal decision in the conversion. I don't know if that's accurate, but it seems not to fit completely with what the sources are saying. God kept calling Newton, over and over, apparent by the many near-death experiences he had, and Newton refused to heed the call until his arrogance was gone. I guess it could be argued that God caused the circumstances by which Newton's pride eroded, but there is an element of personal decision in Newton's conversion. I don't think it's right to completely remove the references to the fact that he allowed the conversion to occur, but perhaps reworded with the Calvinist sensitivities in mind. And since my Calvinist sensitivities are shaky, I don't know how this could be reworded.
I think it's worth it to add the "once was lost" point in the paragraph and cite it to Turner, but as ever, an accurate paraphrasing of Turner's point is the challenge. --Moni3 (talk) 20:59, 21 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the passage I quoted, it seems to me that Turner is saying that, while there may be two meanings to "wretch", total depravity was Newton's intended meaning while more general wretchedness is the meaning that more naturally occurs to listeners with other theological views.
While "there is no personal decision in the conversion" may seem to logically follow from the doctrine of predestination, it is not actually what Calvinism teaches. There is a "both-and" element (rather than "either-or") between divine election and personal responsibility that, to some extent, is simply accepted as paradoxical and mysterious. I fully agree with your two sentences beginning with "God kept calling Newton", and as I said before, some kind of language such as that Newton "gave in", abandoned his pride, embraced God, etc., would be entirely appropriate (that is, if the sentence still fits into the rewritten text, which I'm not sure it does). The distinction is between Newton being in a real situation and making a real choice (which everyone affirms) and the question of who really is ultimately responsible for the event (which is theologically more tricky). Ordinarily I wouldn't make such a big deal over a theological fine point, but since we talking specifically about conversion, and since conversion is intrinsically a theological event about which many theological systems think very carefully (though differently), I think we should try to keep the language as neutral as possible. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 17:18, 22 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was just thinking I might make an edit replacing the first and third paragraphs of the section with Moni3's suggested rewrite above, but I notice now that the second paragraph also needs to be included in the rewrite. In particular, the first sentence of that second paragraph still implies that the modern "communal understanding" is to reject Calvinism. You might recall that this was my suggested rewrite, but now much of that same thought is incorporated into the newly rewritten paragraph. So I'll hold off on editing the text until we straighten out that question. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 17:27, 22 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding "Question 2" - I had a look at Turner and could not find a reference supporting the modern "communal understanding of redemption". Is this just a bit of personal essay, or did I overlook the reference? (talk) 02:56, 22 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi - Just thought it was worth pointing out that it is not only Calvinists that believe in Total Depravity, or that grace must come from outwith ourselves. This is also, for example, the belief of Arminians. And, as Blue Moonlet says, Calvinism is certainly not dying out - I would say that it is increasing amonst evangelicals. (talk) 19:09, 13 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

citation needed for use of the song in national disasters

Hi, can you please add citation for "It has been played following American national disasters such as such as the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the September 11 attacks". I can understand, that User Moni3 removed my request as obvious for Americans, but speaking as somebody from the other side of world without daily detailed media coverage of the events in question, I'd like to have some references for that. Regards (talk) 08:15, 25 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sheet music for this song?

I've got what I think is a rather useful, informative, non-commercial pages that includes sheet music for the New Britain melody. I didn't see sheet music available or referenced on any other part of this page, so I added a link. It was quickly removed, and I'm not sure why. OK, so I'm rather new to adding information on Wikipedia, so I'm trying to figure out the best way to offer what I think is useful information. ClintGoss (talk) 16:42, 13 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article needs to be an encyclopedic overview of the topic. While the sheet music for it at first sight could seem relevant, quickly that becomes a distraction. You inserted a link for music tailored to a specific instrument. For fairness then any published link to sheet music for "New Britain" can be included, then different versions of "New Britain" depending on the year. The article then no longer is an overview of the topic, but a list of links that are somehow tangential. That is not what Wikipedia is for, as you can read in the Wikipedia:Handling trivia guidelines. There is no reason the Native American flute should be singled out for this treatment.
Furthermore, flutopedia appears to be a wiki where anyone can add information. Per the reliable source policy, a third-party edited source is necessary to supply a citation. I peeked at your contributions and you appear to be adding material that you have authored. Please make yourself familiar with the reliable source policy so that you will know what to expect when you add information to an article. --Moni3 (talk) 17:33, 13 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, thanks. This is helpful. Would it be considered valuable and pass the criteria on Wiki inclusion if I posted sheet music into WikiCommons and then cited that here? I'm just trying to provide some useful resources ... ClintGoss (talk) 17:54, 13 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To post images at Commons, it would have to be in the public domain or you would have to release it under the GNU free documentation license. To be honest, there are so many issues with uploading images that I very rarely do it unless I know for sure it's free or in the public domain. The image in this article of the shape note notation in Southern Harmony was published before 1923, so public domain. If it's sheet music you wrote, you'd have to release it.
More importantly, however, is the issue with linking it back to this article. Similarly to trimming trivia, ensuring that articles do not become link farms, or overly long lists of links to external sources, is essential. I have concerns about linking to specific sheet music as I also do about listing or linking to the more than 6,000 recorded versions of "Amazing Grace". For a song as widely known and recorded as this one, it is best to keep the information generalized.
Many Wikipedians arrive to edit articles within the scope of their personal interests. That is why I came here and it appears you have come to do this as well. Your interest in Native American flute and some related topics can be quite helpful to Wikipedia. Your additions to the site, however, should not be self-promotional. You will be frustrated time and again if you seek only to link to articles in such a way that you would benefit. I recommend you approach editing Wikipedia to add information simply to do so, just to improve the collection here. --Moni3 (talk) 18:12, 13 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

US Air Force sound samples

So these were added to the bottom of the lead. They're free, so that's a plus. However, I'm not sure how relevant they are to the points of what sources have expressed and what has been summarized in the article.

  • Without the lyrics, the song is just "New Britain", so the first two samples should be labeled "New Britain", or they should be explained in the caption that without the lyrics, the song is just "New Britain" and the lyrics have been joined to at least 20 melodies.
    • I have no problem with captions that say the following: Instrumental (string) rendition of "Amazing Grace", also known as "New Britain", performed by the United States Air Force Band Strolling Strings and Instrumental (brass) rendition of "Amazing Grace", also known as "New Britain", performed by the Ceremonial Brass: United States Air Force in the Amazing_Grace#.22New_Britain.22_tune section.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 16:46, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Why are these versions notable enough to put in the lead? Or for that matter, anywhere in the article? There are a few notable styles or versions (shape note singing, call and response, lining, Judy Collins' version, the Royal Scots' Dragoon Guards' version) that sources have stated are somehow relevant to how the song became popular.
    • These are not notable renditions. As stated below. When noted renditions are not PD and we have PD renditions that present the same encyclopedic content (what does this song sound like, in this case), we can and should use the PD renditions.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 16:46, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There are almost 7,000 versions of "Amazing Grace". I hope the limitations of Wikipedia's tenets of free material aren't forcing the article to exhibit these sound samples, giving them some prominence they clearly do not have, only because they are free.
    • It is common policy in song articles to use non-notable renditions to represent the encyclopedic content of what the song sounds like. It is not perceived as giving prominence to such version, but rather as providing the reader with a chance to understand what the song sounds like.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 16:46, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've hidden them. Anyone have any thoughts? --Moni3 (talk) 21:14, 12 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(I came from WP:FSC after I suspended the nomination) You mention the hymn tune used in Amazing Grace#"New Britain" tune. The brass version could add something there but adding it would mess up the block quote. --Guerillero | My Talk | Review Me 01:18, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was waiting for a response at Wikipedia:Featured sound candidates/Amazing Grace. I will summarize my points there here: You have text in the article that states "The ability to record combined with the marketing of records to specific audiences allowed "Amazing Grace" to take on thousands of different forms in the 20th century." You also have text that notes several notable renditions. My point is that many well-structured song articles (and even half-arsed ones like Manhattan Beach (march) and The Gallant Seventh) have sections titled "Musical Structure". A highly discussed song like this could have a musical structure section. The fault with the current article is that it neither discusses nor depicts the musical structure of the song. Musical structure need not be depicted by the more notable examples, which likely are not PD. Any example by a reputable musical group, such as the one presented could depict the musical structure. I used the term musical structure, which may not be precise. Basically, the casual reader wants to know "what this song sounds like" (Is this the song I am thinking of?). The musical sophisticate wants to analyze musical structure at a higher level, with a discussion of the elements of the score, sheet music, and such. Both types want a section that shows them "what the song sounds like" (which the current musical sample does a poor job at). According to WP:NFCC we are suppose to substitute free use for fair use whenever possible. Since the article states that the first recording of this song was in 1922, most of the notable recordings were published after 1923. Thus, although you might be able to explain to the reader what the song sounds like with fair use samples of notable recordings, it is not necessary. There are plenty of PD examples of "What the song sounds like" in its variety of forms. A large proportion (if not majority) of WP:FS are non-notable versions by military musical ensembles. They complement a vast array of WP:SONG articles and are commmonly accepted on wikipedia even though notable recordings of many of these songs exist. The fact that you have a WP:FA, does not mean you should toss aside valid examples of "what the song sounds like". Also, please note that the current musical sample in the article is a poor example of how the song should sound. Earlier today, I got feedback on another nomination. I should use that feedback to describe the current musical sample by saying "This is not well recorded, even for [its age] not very listenable. There were other...recordings old enough to be public domain which would be more representative of how the march [song] should sound." I have provided three.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 15:14, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I read your replies in the Featured Sound nomination, but did not respond because you could not provide a source to state that these versions are notable.
Your statement It is common policy in song articles to use non-notable renditions to represent the encyclopedic content of what the song sounds like. It is not perceived as giving prominence to such version, but rather as providing the reader with a chance to understand what the song sounds like. is so full of confusion and errors that I hardly know where to start. What policy is this? Surely because a file is free does not make it perfect or even good for an article, and especially an FA. So whatever policy you think you're referring to, it does not apply to FAs. "It is not perceived"? For God's sake, Tony, don't you write FAs? Don't you know that "it is not perceived" as passive voice is poor writing and is unfavorable basically because it says nothing? Passive voice is used by people who have no point and can't back up their assertions. Who perceives this? Certainly not I. I see it doing exactly that: placing undue weight on these versions when more popular and meaningful versions are more appropriate, not because I think so, but because the sources say it. As for providing readers with a true understanding of what the song sounds like, this is why NFCC was created. If you truly think free sound content is the best way to illustrate what a song this notable and widespread sounds like, record yourself singing "Everybody Must Get Stoned" in the shower and place it in the Bob Dylan FA. See how well that goes over. I will wait for you here.
So if you truly care about the quality of material in this article ... load 30-second samples of song versions that are most appropriate according to the sources. They would be:
  • Judy Collins' version
  • the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards' version
  • Fiddlin' John Carson's version because it uses the lyrics with a different melody
  • a version of shape note singing, found here (with info)
If the sample in the article is poor now, then fix it. You can also contact User:Raul654, who loaded it. --Moni3 (talk) 17:49, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
First of all, I just learned how to make .ogg music files this week. My first music .ogg contributions on WP were very recent. With that in mind, there are songs where the original version is considered the notable version of the song. The reader can infer the importance of such a rendition by reading the WP:LEAD, which in a well-formed article (of which an FA should be), would explain to the reader any particular renditions that are notable. In terms of "Everybody Must Get Stoned", the article in the lead presents that the notable version is by Dylan. I have never created an FA WP:SONG article. I do know enough to read the WP:LEAD and see if there are any notable renditions of a song. E.g., my GA version of "My Kind of Town" clarifies that various Frank Sinatra versions are the notable versions of the song. Thus, the song samples from those versions. This article does not present any information in the WP:LEAD, which is suppose to summarize all the information of the article, that any particular renditions are notably associated as the definitive versions of the song. Does this article present information on any particular versions of "New Britain" (as you call it) that are notable? I am very new to adding .ogg files. It is my perception from following along at WP:FS that non-notable renditions are commonly added to help the reader understand the song. I will have to get back to you on policy. Please point me to the significant versions mentioned in the WP:LEAD when you get a chance.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 18:23, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I honestly don't see a problem with Tony's additions on this and actual think even if not the best quality they most certainly have encyclopedic use. They don't have any copyright issues right?♦ Dr. Blofeld 20:15, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have just notice a non-notable performance of Ave Maria at WP:FSC. See File:Schola Gregoriana-Ave Maria.ogg. It is probably an uncommon form of the prayer, but still enlightens the reader.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 21:29, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's nice of Dr. Blofeld to show up here; he also supported all of TTT's FACs, which were lengthy, difficult, and often had to have significant prose and MOS corrections by other reviewers in order to pass. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:21, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

TTT, it appears to me that trying to add non-notable versions of a song to the lead of a Featured article (three of them no less), while stating that you only learned to upload sound files last week, may be an attempt by you to, as you have stated, "learn how to do a FS to keep up my main page been there done that thing"; please experiment elsewhere. Regarding Ava Maria, please see WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. Do you have sources discussing the notability of the songs you want to add here? If not, you might have better luck experimenting on a GA. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:17, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re Blofeld, Risker's message not get through to you?

USAF Band version still not notable. More words on the talk page (Raul's too) doesn't change that.

Read article, Check sources=Quality work and understanding. Simplicity. --Moni3 (talk) 22:29, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notable version is not a standard relevant to any other WP:FA that I can find. It seems to be made up for convenience. A quick run through WP:FA shows almost all renditions in articles are not described as notable versions in the text. See "Dixie (song)", Gianni Schicchi, "My Belarusy", "National Anthem of Russia", "Old Dan Tucker", "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away", Sylvia (ballet), "Symphony No. 3 (Górecki)", Thespis (opera). Sandy of all people knows that notable rendition is a totally made-up standard that is not relevant to any discussion.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 22:57, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Same point. Not notable when other versions are very much so. --Moni3 (talk) 23:00, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please make some attempt to present a cogent statement. Neither of the two things ending in periods above is even a sentence. the first has no verb and the second has no subject. How am I suppose to even attempt to argue with gibberish.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:06, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Miss .. the editor seeking to add material to an article is the editor who needs to supply the source-- do you have sources discussing the notability of these songs, or are they just a collection of trivia for you to keep up the "been there done that" you mentioned when FS were added to the mainpage? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:10, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why should I? You clearly haven't made the effort even to read the article before you took it upon yourself to decide to insert these sound samples into it. You did not consult the talk page. You just assumed you knew what the hell you're doing by placing these samples in the lead. Your comments here and on Raul's talk page (discussions in two different venues, by the way, aren't that cogent) have exhibited this several times. Instead of agreeing now to go and read the sources, which I've told you to do not only to answer your questions about which versions are notable, but also to illustrate how much information sources dedicate to the structure of this very simple melody, you're going to keep making the same arguments that don't matter. Nothing matters, Tony, aside from what the sources say. Not what you say or I say. Go read the sources. But I'd advise you at least to read the article first. --Moni3 (talk) 23:15, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The article currently has a whole section devoted to the instrumental version (Amazing_Grace#"New Britain" tune). You do not note any notable versions. The current consensus prevailing practice at FAC, is to include available PD versions, when there is no prevailing notable version (note my list FA above does not include songs where there is a prevailing notable version). Note some FAs even include military band versions. You have stated that I have presented two examples of what amounts to the "New Britain" tune. What is wrong with adding these two versions to this section?--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:42, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See WP:TRIVIA (which a collection of non-notable songs is). See also WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:01, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS, is not really relevant when it is the consensus prevailing practice at FAC. The consensus prevailing practice at FAC does not require notable versions.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:06, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please try to get an art article through FAC with a gallery chock full of junk pictures, or multiple unnecessary sound files that add nothing to the article. If you have sources discussing why these sounds are notable, pls add them. Otherwise, please carry your experiment elsewhere. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:10, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think presenting what the song sounds like is unnecessary in a song article.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:44, 13 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since I was asked to give my two cents on the issue - I think Tony's song contributions are very good and definitely should be included this article. Finding free music for these articles is hard, and finding good quality music is harder still. The version I uploaded isn't great - it's not a bad illustration of the 'revivalist' style, but there's much better representations of the the song. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with having multiple versions of the song in this article. Personally, I think the "standard" or preferred version should played on a bagpipe. As for FA standards - I don't think there's an particularly notable cover version of this song, nor if there did exist one. (Side note: There are some song FAs for which there are particularly notable versions. For example, the 1990 London Symphony cover of Gorecki's 3rd symphony. This fact should be stated in the article, but I'm not sure how much the article should dwell on this fact. Regardless, that's a moot point here, because IMO there is no particularly notable cover of Amazing Grace.) Raul654 (talk) 05:13, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is my point. 7,000 renditions of this song. There is no single version that defines what the song is. Not even the "New Britain" tune is the "official" version. Not even John Newton's original lyrics with any specific melody is the right or official version. It's a folk song, one that has transitioned and changed over two hundred years. With recorded music more changes: lyrical addenda, musical instrumentation, melody, style, have all been individualized with each recording.
Raul, your preference for the bagpipes is the instrumental 1972 Royal Scots Dragoon Guards' version, which has its own paragraph to describe it in the article, and remains the best selling instrumental song in UK history. But caution: it's not official. It's just one version. I want to stress that. Simply adding one version of the song will give the impression that it is the "right" one. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guard version is based on Judy Collins', which gained enormous unsolicited popularity in its time.
Sources have well described notable versions of the song that have added to its popularity or illustrated a style, such as shape note singing, that helped disseminate it across the U.S. I have already listed them in this discussion. If any sound samples are to be added, these are the ones that are the most appropriate. A version that is never mentioned by sources only serves to confuse readers why it is included when much more notable, famous, or academic samples are available. --Moni3 (talk) 12:11, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I strongly agree with Moni3, especially this statement: "Simply adding one version of the song will give the impression that it is the "right" one." Gandydancer (talk) 15:19, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is there a logical reason to have one file in there that is not notable according to the text and not others, especially when it has poor recording quality?--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 16:15, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The lining out version currently in the article illustrates one of the ways the song has been sung. I think it has distinct value to the understanding of how folk songs morph so much. I'm not opposed to adding other samples, but they should be meaningful to the text, which is to say that samples in the article should reflect what sources have highlighted as examples of styles and notable versions. As a hymn that has been changed hundreds of ways as folk songs often are, it would be more meaningful to illustrate how it has changed with time, dependent on location, even on the race of the singers/musicians. That is currently explained somewhat in the prose. It could stand to be illustrated more, particularly with a subject like music.
ogg files are not my forte, even though I've written song articles previously. For some reason, I can't figure out how to convert mp3 or mpeg files despite other editors explaining it to me quite clearly. If I could do this, I would add 30-second samples of the shape note version previously linked above, Fiddlin' John Carson's version, Judy Collins' version, and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards' version. With these meaningful examples, there is of course room for a full free version. I would choose one of the three USAF Band versions, and I'm leaning toward either the string or brass. --Moni3 (talk) 20:56, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You keep talking about complementing the text with music. I am presenting two instrumental versions that complement the New Britain section and you have not explained why they should not be included in this section.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 21:10, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because without the other samples I mentioned above, it's the equivalent of what in education is known as "apple lessons". To get kids to do busy work, teachers sometimes have kids color pictures of apples or something similarly mindless. It doesn't tie into anything meaningful, and it doesn't build on other lessons in writing or math that help students connect to other disciplines.
These conflicts often end up in compromise, Tony. So if you can convert the sound files I've mentioned to ogg, clip them to 30 seconds and load them, I'll write the hell out of the fair use rationales, the captions, and anything else that needs to be done. Then I will be more than happy to add one of the USAF Band sound files to the article, and make sure that its caption is meaningful to the text. --Moni3 (talk) 21:17, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will do one clip for each USAF file you are willing to include in the article. Hit my email this user. I will reply with my email. Send me .mp3s.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 21:33, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
P.S. unless the full-length version is at least 5 minutes full 30-second versions are not permissible under WP:SAMPLE. I am not sure what you are going to send, but some clips may not be 30 seconds depending on what is permissible.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 21:37, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Clarify, please. You will only convert one file if I agree to add only one USAF Band file? I just want to make sure I understand that correctly. --Moni3 (talk) 21:38, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. I will create one clip for one USAF inclusion, two for two and three for three. Also, please note that I have not examined your images, but the clips would be FUs and would count against a conventional limit of FU content in an article which is in about the 2-4 range for FAs. So if you already have 2 or three FU images in the article we need to be careful.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 21:43, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds, not images. And don't worry about it. If you're going to dicker like this over files that would clearly improve the article but do you no service, I'll do it myself, frustration and all. --Moni3 (talk) 21:47, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
AFAIK, FU sounds and FU images all count against FU limits. If you have 3 FU images, you are not suppose to add a couple of FU sounds, AFAIK. P.S. I am not sure you said what you meant in the second sentence because I infer that you mean you are annoyed I want to negotiate to get USAFs in in exchange for FU creations. I don't understand the phrase "improve the article but do you no service" in this usage. However, if you are going to create the FUs yourself, then once you do for "balance" as you say, I would still propose adding both a string and a brass instrumental to the New Britain section after you add the other sample content to avoid the "apple lesson" that you perceive.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 21:57, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then let me be clear. It's quite obvious to me that you have no interest in improving this article unless it serves to give you some featured credit. I don't respect that in the least and I cannot stress how much disrespect I have for that attitude. So I'll do the work to convert the sound files to ogg and whatever I need to do to add quality to the article. I'll be happy to add one of the USAF Band files where appropriate, but I disagree with adding another because it does not illustrate anything that sources mention and as one file shows what the song sounds like, another one doesn't make that understanding any clearer unless something else is being highlighted, like the style or the way the folk roots of the song have changed. Again, because you can't provide a source to discuss that, one USAF Band sound file does the job. --Moni3 (talk) 22:35, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your holier than thou attitude is unbecoming. I help out around here in all kinds of ways. I actually had intended to go into content creation semi-retirement until the FS on the main page motivated me to help the Sound-hunters. Of course, since you seem to lack the sophistication to pursue the sound stuff, you are free to be a hater. Since learning how to do so 5 days ago, I have added FU music clips to article with no likelihood of any recognition. All three of the articles that I have added FU clips to since learning how to do so ("Sideways (Clarence Greenwood song)", "My Kind of Town", and "Fanfare for the Common Man") have little chance of attaining higher quality levels and FU clips are FS-ineligible. You are misinterpreting my lack of interest in helping you create clips because of your WP:OWN issues that with a lack of interest in helping for other reasons. Look in the mirror to see the reason for your disrespect. As ugly as your holier than though attitude is, I hope it does not crack. When the FA director tells you he would like to see content added to articles, you should not be running around insisting people who are trying to add it have some sort of problem. You can just discount any Sandy argument against me because she argues on behalf of anyone who contests anything I say. If you were insisting the sky is not blue, you would likely get policy support from Sandy who has already shown that she is willing to ignore the fact that virtually all other similar FAs use non-notable renditions. Sandy and I have a history where she takes sides against me on any issue I raise on WP and ensures the votes follow to see that her contestation carries. She will probably tell you this herself. Getting to the issue, you ask why I think more than one version is relevant to the text. I feel that if there are 7000 versions of varying styles, you should present a few different styles. String and brass arrangements are different styles in my mind (although I am not a music scholar). Jazz is certainly different than the other two and than the current revival version. If none of the FU clips you intend to create demonstrate jazz renditions, you should also include the jazz, IMO. Are you making the argument that you think the three versions that I have presented are all the same style?--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:34, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
These are personal attacks, TonyTheTiger, and besides that, unhelpful to the discussion. You've been on Wikipedia too long for a talk page warning, but knock it off. Perhaps you unwatch FAs that you have contributed to once they're earned a star, but many FA writers pour heart and soul into writng and maintaining FAs, and your appreciation of that fact might help advance this discussion. Please stop dropping things into the article without discussion; you already know your additions are disputed and under discussion, and discussion should proceed here on talk. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:14, 15 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am sure you are aware that there are few people on WP who have more FAs, FLs and GAs to watch than me. I have about 300 of those to watch, plus all the other articles I watch that I have created and others that I volunteer to watch. In addition, I oversee three projects. In terms of discussion, I have at least gotten the main author to present content that helps the reader understand what the song sounds like although the experts on music probably would still like a more technical discussion on the sound. I am glad to see the fine examples that have been added throughout to help the reader. I remain puzzled at the direction of the instrumental versions which would seem to me to address the text. I pointed out a location where they would add value, but seem to have been rebuffed. I await information on the expectations about the instrumental versions.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 13:54, 15 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am aware of more or less three dozen editors who have more featured content to follow than you do; most of them also oversee projects, and are humble and interested in content more than promoting themselves via rewards and stars, so you may not be aware of just how many of them there are. They tend to work quietly without drawing attention to themseleves or touting their perceived accomplishments. I'll be glad to see focus here remain on the article and not name-calling aimed at Moni3, and misinterpretation of Wikipedia:OWN#Featured articles. Dropping three marginal songs into the lead of a featured article is not something I expect of an editor experienced with featured content-- I'm glad to see this is being sorted now, and hope this discussion will stay on the topic of how to best accomplish that, and that you will refrain from adding sound files to the article until there is consensus. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:05, 15 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sandy, I know where I rank at WP:WBFAN and WP:WBFLN. If you want to know what articles I follow, here is one list of articles I watch. I also volunteer to watch a list of dozen articles like Tiger Woods, and Donald Trump. I generally check in on these about twice a week using related changes rather than having them on my watch list. Yes trying to get along with the editor regarding included content. Still have a few more tax issues to figure out so I will keep this short.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 14:48, 15 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

[QUOTE]Yes. I will create one clip for one USAF inclusion, two for two and three for three[/QUOTE] I've been editing for some time now and this is about the most mean-spirited thing I've ever read on a talk page. I would tell this editor to go to hell. I would refuse to work with this editor. No clip is better than one added with this sort of spirit, especially for this article. Gandydancer (talk) 23:14, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

[QUOTE]These conflicts often end up in compromise, Tony. So if you can convert the sound files I've mentioned to ogg, clip them to 30 seconds and load them, I'll write the hell out of the fair use rationales, the captions, and anything else that needs to be done. Then I will be more than happy to add one of the USAF Band sound files to the article, and make sure that its caption is meaningful to the text.[/QUOTE] This is called a compromise offer and the thing you are describing as meanspirited is called a compromise counteroffer. The meanspiritedclassless thing is to then refuse to negotiate after getting a counteroffer.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 23:34, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm ok with you calling me holier than thou. God forbid I'm unbecoming to you. However shall I exist? Thanks for...nevermind. --Moni3 (talk) 23:39, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Counteroffer? What do you think this is, a garage sale? Nice job Moni3! If it was not too hard to do, is there any chance I could get you to add a clip to the yodel article? I would like this: Gandydancer (talk) 01:13, 15 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This has gone on long enough, if neither of you can come to a reasonable compromise on the matter I believe an RfC should be initiated, whether on unbecoming user conduct or on the sounds themselves. Featured Media should always be used in place over other readily available free media as they have been deemed by the community to have a high level of artistic standard and quality which is paramount to other available media, I'm sure WP:FA says something about use of Featured Media, in fact I'm certain the FAC say something about the use of Featured Media to accompany the article as supplementary material. SandyGeorgia may assert her position as an FA delegate, but I am an FS delegate, we're locked in this stalemate and the only way we can reach an agreement it seems is through one of the early stages of dispute resolution: an RfC. This debate has really shown the worst in some of you (being a collective pronoun here), the attitude displayed has so far been nothing short of unsavoury and childish. And what's more is the reticence of the FA Director(s), I have yet to see Raul (or Dabomb) to opine on the matter and serve as mediators so to speak. As I said, if the matter cannot be resolved in a mature fashion, I believe it is necessary to pursue WP:DR processes. —James (TalkContribs) • 4:25pm 06:25, 23 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

James, the entire conversation took 2 days. Are you referring to this discussion that has gone on long enough? Or further attempts by TonyTheTiger to insert all three free media files into the article despite the fact that he has been topic banned from Featured Sounds?
At any rate, revisiting this, in summary: TonyTheTiger added three US Air Force versions of Amazing Grace to the lead. I objected on the following grounds:
  1. They don't belong in the lead. (They were moved to another section.)
  2. There are more than 7,000 recorded versions of the song. A few versions are very notable, namely Judy Collins' version and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards', samples of which are now in the article.
  3. As a folk song, it has taken on many renditions. This song in particular is used to illustrate various folk music techniques like lining out, shape note singing, and call and response. This is cited in the article.
  4. Ideally, media in any article should complement the sourced material. This should be a concrete rule in a Featured Article, per WP:WIAFA. The sound files in the article mostly do that except for the US Air Force one, which is just kind of there for no logical reason other than the fact that it's free.
  5. TonyTheTiger started a discussion at Talk:Featured Sound Candidates, through you James?--because he has been banned from that project, to again push to get all three US Air Force versions in the article. The talk page for this article was not notified of that discussion, nor was I as an editor who has raised pretty darn good points about these files. That's poor form on Wikipedia and a clear attempt to gain undue consensus about these files from editors who are wholly unfamiliar with the issues in the article. He has furthermore on your talk page, James, pushed to get all three to be placed in the "New Britain" section where there is currently an image of William Walker and a free sound file that is referenced by the text. I'm assuming he thinks it is more appropriate to 1. remove the image of Walker and the current free sound file despite very obvious reasons they should be in that section, or, 2. violate the MOS by placing three (irrelevant) sound files in the section that already has an image and a free sound file that are very relevant, or, 3. some other thing I cannot anticipate. These moves are baffling to me and all I can surmise is that TonyTheTiger does not care about the article quality.
Clearly I don't object to free media as there are free versions in the article already. I added one of them. However, I object to versions of the song that are superfluous; not mentioned by the sources either in totality or as an illustration of a folk music technique. I thought it a pretty good compromise to place one US Air Force version in the article. It doesn't matter to me which one; they're all three equally irrelevant to what the sources say about the song. It's also not clear what you or Tony think is gained by illustrating "New Britain" three times. It's the same tune, you know. Unless there are notable ways in how the tune is expressed, as in the various folk music techniques, what is the reason for the redundancy?
So, Dispute Resolution if it pleases you, but I'm confident in my position and unless someone can prove with a reliable source that these three US Air Force versions are integral to the understanding of the material in the article, I don't see any reason to change my opinion. I've also not been banned from any projects on Wikipedia for being relentless in the pursuit of rewards at the expense of various content review processes. This appears to be a significant factor in how long this is taking and whyever you are directing your exasperation at me (or you plural) is a mystery. To put a fine point on this absurdity, what if all three US Air Force versions were added to the article long enough for Tony to get his star, then I remove them because they don't belong there? I've not seen any evidence that Tony truly cares about the cohesion of the material in the article, so that would seem to please everyone while at the same time shamefully abusing Wikipedia and misleading readers to think that the US Air Force versions are notable when they are not.
Also, what do you think the infobox adds to the article? Also, have you not involved yourself in the matter? --Moni3 (talk) 13:08, 23 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I'm acting as a third-party observer, my contributions to the article are not in my capacity as an FS Director or in support of anyone's position. If you don't agree with my additions, by all means revert my contributions, no questions asked. This argument has NOT lasted 2 days, it was a whole 1-2 week argument when Tony was pushing for their addition to the article during the FS process. The matter is, not all sound has to be relevant to the article. Look at O Canada some of the performances there aren't mentioned in the article. As a Featured Sound it means it has been identified as a piece of superb quality and flawlessness, which both pieces were identified as being. Furthermore, their addition to the other renditions section was not inherently disruptive as from what I can see, you, Moni, were the one making a big fuss of it.
I had the same problem when I tried to add the FS for O Canada to the article, however, after a few hours of debating we all agreed on a compromise and that piece has been in the other media section with no complaints thereafter. The material doesn't necessarily need to tie-in with the article, it can be used to illustrate modern interpretations and renditions of the piece. Your aversion to this change is quite disconcerting. Well, when you talk of your tenure in such a manner, why then are you so averse to change, haven't the years taught you anything on the matter? —James (TalkContribs) • 10:49am 00:49, 24 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "not all sound has to be relevant to the article" is laughable. That just makes absolutely no sense at all and I don't know how you aren't embarrassed trying to explain that. Why not make FS, if you and FS enthusiasts want featured credit so badly, not have to be in articles? They can just be flawless and irrelevant sounds unrelated to articles. You get your star and articles remain excellent. You're the FS delegate. Put that in motion. Otherwise, perhaps any Dispute Resolution or RfC needs to happen between Featured Sounds and Featured Articles. FA writers should be aware that any FSC could go in any FA despite how little sense it makes to place it there. I think there may be some objections.
I never said one or three files were disruptive in the Modern interpretations section. Irrelevant and redundant absolutely. I'm also troubled by your illustration in O Canada: you added the file, so of course you would support it. But how can you justify it? After a few hours debate etc made no comment on the compromise of the one US Air Force file. Is it not enough in this article? Must there be three? Why?
Why is my aversion to adding these files disconcerting? How can you not see my point and subsequently the disconnect between "material doesn't necessarily need to tie-in with the article"? Do you not connect it with WP:UNDUE or WP:OR?
Furthermore, responding to your incoherent comment about tenure and my years on Wikipedia would be flattering it by notice. I should not have to respond to that because you should never have brought it up, FS delegate. You should know better than that. I've made excellent points about the content of the article and the appropriateness of these files in the article. FS and FA operate separately for the most part and there is a genuine difference in approaches here, it should be resolved between the two projects. I suggest starting a discussion at WT:FAC. --Moni3 (talk) 13:54, 24 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could James have miswritten "relevant" when he intended "mentioned in the text"?
He gives only examples of sound recordings that are relevant to their articles, but that are not mentioned in the text.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 02:55, 25 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that is what I meant. I meant no offence in what I said, I don't agree with the use of FS's in articles just because they're featured material, yes, there does need to be cohesion, but the addition of those pieces to the modern interpretations section was harmless. Having listened to all three myself, I prefer the brass and strings rendition over the jazz vocals, however, the brass rendition isn't as majestic as I'd hoped it'd be. But I digress, yes that comment about your tenure was irrelevant, I completely misread your statement and I apologise for that as well.
I am out of ideas, so any suggestions on what to do? —James (TalkContribs) • 2:52pm 04:52, 25 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What are you trying to accomplish? I appreciate the mistype, honestly I do, but for this article, for this instance, one US Air Force file is enough and the compromise, in my opinion, is sufficient. If you want the strings version, I can change it. I don't really care. You should be aware that Featured Article Criteria #3 establishes that media in FAs should be placed "where appropriate". That leaves a lot open to interpretation, particularly in this case. If that needs to be clarified at Featured Article Criteria, then it should be. I've never participated at Featured Sounds; I don't know if that process needs to be clarified also. --Moni3 (talk) 13:44, 25 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would be appreciated Moni :) I'm glad that this is over. I'm relieved that we're not using all three, I didn't even get a proper listen of the pieces up until now. The FS criteria are undergoing an overhaul, you can participate in the discussion if you like, propose a mock-up, what have you. It doesn't matter if you're unfamiliar with the process as we're looking for wording which everyone will agree on and that wasn't as ambiguous and open to interpretation as this and the prior criteria. Regards, —James (TalkContribs) • 5:06pm 07:06, 26 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Trail of Tears

In March 2008, mention of the song as something that was played for shortened funeral services on the trail of tears was marked as needing improved references[1]. That tag was removed eventually, but then mention of the trail was removed in a spam, and as far as I can see never reintroduced[2] (the spam also removed lyrics in Cherokee, which I never cared for). I'm a bit confused if there is a problem with the mention, as it is a big deal to many people, so I'm adding it back in. Let me know if I should add more citations.Smmurphy(Talk) 16:45, 8 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I rewrote the article in November 2009. I scrapped the entire article completely and started over fresh. Everything in the article, aside from the Cherokee thing, was in the sources listed at the bottom.
The Cherokee fact now has a very weak link to "Amazing Grace". The documentation on this from the source is nearly unacceptable to be included in the article. One sentence, written in passive voice: "It is said that 'Amazing Grace' was sung so often along the Trail of Tears it practically became a Cherokee anthem." The source provides only anecdotal information, and as such should be considered a primary source. Wikipedia defers to secondary sources, opinions from historians. Who says the Cherokee sang this? Where is the documentation? In the two books I consider comprehensive about the song, Steve Turner's and Jonathan Aitken's, neither dedicates any space to the song's use among the Cherokee people.
Unless you know of much better sources for this information, this may be a mere footnote for this article if it should be included at all. --Moni3 (talk) 22:06, 8 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm, I used the Arcadia Local History Series book because it seemed the most general interest well-distributed source. A couple other good sources on this are poet Robert McDowel's book on poetry and spirituality, Poetry as Spiritual Practice. The story from this book about how the song was used in a shortened funeral rite was the story I learned as a kid. McDowell has had a good career as an academic/poet, although I think concentrates on spirituality, so I figured that source wasn't so good. A super-boring academic source is Richard M. Swiderski's, The metamorphosis of English: versions of other languages. Swiderski was a professor of anthropology at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, I'm not sure if he was still when the book was published or what he is doing now. This is certainly the best source for a full discussion of the translation. Obviously, I'm using google books: here is a list of other possible sources. Smmurphy(Talk) 20:30, 12 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perfection. I will unhide the Cherokee fact and replace it with the The metamorphosis of English: versions of other languages source. Thank you for digging up some sources on that. --Moni3 (talk) 20:58, 12 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looks good. Thanks for taking such good care of the article.Smmurphy(Talk) 22:55, 12 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cherokee language

I noticed the article says Amazing Grace was translated in "Cherokee." This really should read: "...into Tsalagi" (which is the name of our language). We don't call our language "Cherokee". It would be nice if Moni or someone else would change it. Thanks. Great article, as usual, Moni.--TEHodson 05:13, 24 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tsalagi redirects to Cherokee (and there's only one mention of the term in that article). There is an article for Cherokee language. What do you suggest? --Moni3 (talk) 13:57, 24 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would suggest saying "Tsalagi" and letting it redirect, but that's because it's important to me (and mine). It's probably of little interest to anyone else (which is a painful fact of life). Would it be too cumbersome to say "Tsalagi, the Cherokee language" or "Tsalagi, the language of the Cherokee people" or even just "the Cherokee language" with a wikilink to it? The latter would be better than plain "Cherokee" which seems to name the language. The article is beautifully written and I don't want you to feel it's being compromised; I can only tell you it's discouraging that such elementary things are not understood, but it's a common problem for tribal people who have been conquered. "Cherokee" isn't our name for ourselves, either. The other article is in need of some repair, too. By the way, I had absolutely no idea that AG had such an involved history! I can't really stand the song, and ended up on the article because someone wanted to sing it at an upcoming funeral and I thought it too Christian for our atheist friend, and so I decided to read about it. Good work. And thanks for listening.--TEHodson 18:39, 24 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ga li 'e li 'ga, v g lv, Moni. (I am grateful, my sister. From Awi Usdi, aka --TEHodson 20:37, 24 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sweet. Rock on and w00t. --Moni3 (talk) 20:41, 24 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hyacinth's edits

I'm referencing the edits Hyacinth (talk · contribs) made to the article in good faith. I'm changing some of them to adhere to the rules of Featured Articles (see also Featured Article criteria).

  • This was added to the first paragraph of the Dissemination section. The first paragraph in "New Britain" tune section discusses the publication history of the musical notation. Steve Turner discusses Virginia Harmony (p. 118). Documentation of "Amazing Grace" before the 1990s states that this was the first recorded instance of the song in musical notation, but later research has proven this to be inaccurate. The "New Britain" tune section addresses this with the most accurate documentation available. Therefore, I don't know what kind of value including this information has. I've hidden this information until it can be discussed further.
  • Related note: Turner's book is used as a source in this article, as I stated. Please keep an eye on making sure information from this source and others already used as sources is cited consistently. Anything coming from Turner should be cited as "Turner, p. 118", for example. Collins wrote the foreword, so her name should not be included in the citation.
  • This edit adds more information from the inaccurate allmusic source and is problematic on several levels. I'm going to restore this section the way it was.
  • This edit introduces overlinking of common terms. "Lyrics" is debatable, but "melody" should be simple enough for any English reader to know, and the link to New Britain does not reference music, but an island near Papua New Guinea.
  • Composer Ben Johnston's String Quartet No. 4 ("Amazing Grace") is, "a heart-rendingly beautiful microtonal setting of the well-known melody," for string quartet
  • There are more than 7,000 recorded versions of the song, so any mentions of specific versions need to include a source, which was included, but also a reason why a specific version was notable: either it charted, or exhibited a kind of folk music technique discussed in the source, for example. It's not feasible to state that the reason a version is included is because it's beautiful. The article would be inundated with similar opinions for thousands of versions of the song. Also, for an opinion such as this, it's important to cite who is making claims that the song is notable. Until a source can say why this version is notable and for what reason--beyond it being beautiful--I'm going to remove the mention of Johnston's version.
  • This is too full of jargon. Articles should ideally be written for a reasonably intelligent high school student to be able to understand. These are musical terms, clearly relevant to the topic, but this is a meaningless sentence for casual readers. I'm going to remove this from the lead. It's also worth discussing if it should be included in the lead.
  • Van der Merwe argues that "New Britain" is an, "overwhelmingly Scottish tune"),
  • This should be discussed. I think it adds too much emphasis on one person's opinion, particularly as no one really knows where it came from and many musicologists and anthropologists have speculated on it. I'm going to revert this for now until it can be hashed out here.
  • Where is the licensing, artist, and source information for this file? Until that is addressed, the link has to be removed.

While there is room for the article to be improved, and I certainly appreciate anyone willing to access the sources to work on improving the article, these changes for now don't achieve that goal. But as I said, I'm eager to discuss improvements with Hyacinth or anyone else willing to do the work to make it a better article. As long as, you know, the changes meet the highest expectations for articles on Wikipedia. --Moni3 (talk) 22:27, 6 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To find information about an audio file linked thus:
Audio file "Audio.mid" not found
click "info". Hyacinth (talk) 15:58, 15 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So if its no longer linked search for "File:Example.extension" Hyacinth (talk) 01:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello again, Hyacinth. You responded to one of the points here, the sound file. (Play  for future reference). I looked at it previously, but assumed (from experience) that the lack of discussion here meant that you were no longer interested. So for clarity, I should ask if you have any responses to the points I made above. As for the sound file, I see that you created it. I have vague reservations about it, which can probably be overcome if you explain what value you think the sound file adds to the article. It's going to go up against the other sound files already there. When you added it originally, no text was provided to explain what readers should understand from it. --Moni3 (talk) 22:04, 3 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Scottish origins again

Moni3, the "Scottish origins" issue has arisen again in the recent discussion and I must say I'm still very uncomfortable with the current version: "As neither tune is attributed, and both show elements of oral transmission, scholars can only speculate on the tune's origins. These guesses include a Scottish folk ballad as many of the new residents of Kentucky and Tennessee were immigrants from Scotland,[45] or folk songs developed in Virginia,[46] or South Carolina, William Walker's home state.[47]" As we reviewed this earlier, nobody could name a single reliable source that could demonstrate a Scottish origin for the melody, which was first printed in America in 1829, and has never been traced to a printed or manuscript source in the British Isles or elsewhere in Europe. Among residents of Kentucky, and the other southern states where the melody was likely independently transcribed, there were indeed Scots--there were also English, Irish, Welsh, Germans, Africans, and members of various Native ethnicities. Those who single out the Scots seem to be doing so out of wishful thinking, or out of a vague feeling that it "sounds like" a Scottish tune--not a good reason to include it in the article. I would say merely " As neither tune is attributed, and both show elements of oral transmission, scholars can only speculate on the tune's origins. " and leave it at that. Have you found anything new on this, or would you be willing to omit the second sentence?
Another issue that arose in recent good faith edits reflects the ambiguity of the term "hymn" itself. The article currently begins " Amazing Grace" is a Christian hymn with lyrics... " One editor wanted to change "lyrics" to "words." To a hymnologist, the point is moot: a hymn, is defined as a poem designed for singing, and the tune is another entity with its own history, so we could simply say "Amazing Grace" is a Christian hymn by ... John Newton, etc." I'm not suggesting this; I think the opening is appropriate in its emphasis on the text. The article hymn is not explicit enough on this matter, although it features a definition of a Christian hymn by respected scholars Eskew and McElrath: "a lyric poem, reverently and devotionally conceived, which is designed to be sung and which expresses the worshiper's attitude toward God or God's purposes in human life." It's also good to note that "hymns" were largely excluded from formal Anglican worship in Newton's time, and also that, strictly speaking, according to the traditional Ephesian distinction among "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs," "Amazing grace" is a spiritual song, focusing not so much on the Deity itself as upon divine influence in human affairs. Still, in the absence of a separate article on NEW BRITAIN or any of the other possible tunes or tune names, we have to cover the music as well, while confirming that according to scholars "hymns are texts" and acknowledging that layfolk often confound hymns (poetry) with tunes (musical settings). And if you have sound or notation examples, it's good to have at least one (a lined-out Kentucky version) that reflects a tune other than the commonplace one.Finn Froding (talk) 20:55, 9 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Finn Froding, I agree that this sentence These guesses include a Scottish folk ballad as many of the new residents of Kentucky and Tennessee were immigrants from Scotland,[45] or folk songs developed in Virginia,[46] or South Carolina, William Walker's home state.[47] begs questions from conscientious readers. It was inserted as a compromise, and I can't remember now how it came about. I'm ambivalent about removing it or keeping it, because I agree that folks really want "Amazing Grace" to have a slave origin, or Scottish origin, or whatever it is, they want it to be something perhaps it's not. However, the sentence is as accurate as it can be; it only offers guesses and the guesses are published by experts in reliable sources. I've not found anything different about it, but I haven't looked. I can do that. I have access to a different library than I did when I wrote the article originally, and it may have more to say about the melody's origins. If you have sources, by all means, dust them off and let's see what we can find.
As for the second point, about the wording of the sentence, I'm sure you know it's difficult to introduce the difference between what hymns used to be and what they are today in the first sentence of the article. First sentences are often nightmares because they have to be written accurately and they also have to introduce readers to stuff they may not know, and in an open-editing format such as this, it offers too many opportunities for folks to "fix" stuff they see is incorrect or not comprehensive enough, which they may do before reading the entire article. I keep having to remove redundant statements in the first paragraph that say Newton didn't write the melody. That's covered in the 3rd paragraph. So I realize that Newton wrote the hymn, and that should be enough, but for new readers that can be construed as Newton also wrote the music. Lower in the article it's explained that at the time Newton was preaching hymns were religious poetry. If you're ok with the way it's worded now, I'm ok with it as well. There are other ways to get creative, such as inserting a footnote in the lead. I have to wonder how many would read a footnote, but there are already several in the article. --Moni3 (talk) 22:26, 9 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Moni3, I think the treatment of the "hymn" concept is ok, but the points I raised could well be kept in mind in any future editing, especially in the introduction. I feel I must draw the line at the "Scottish" meme, which perhaps influenced by the recent adoption into the highland pipes repertory, has become widely believed without evidence of any kind. To single it out is misleading. What is "Scottish music," anyway? The specialized vocal and pipes music of the (historically) Gaelic speaking highlands is markedly different from the song and dance music traditions of the lowlands, and the so-called Celtic influence on the culture of the upland southern U.S. is a contentious, though a legitimate issue. More obvious in these regions is the settlement of "Scotch-Irish," a North American synonym for "Ulster Scots," whose musical traditions are largely analogous to those of the Lowlands and northern England. I'm not going to start an editing war over the issue, but, as a scholar of this specific repertory, I believe the disadvantages of singling out a hypothetical Scottish origin far outweigh the advantages. That Turner mentions it, even in such an offhand way, reflects the limitations of his otherwise commendable treatment, and his background as a journalist. If you choose to revert, I hope you will consider bolstering the speculation with stronger references (if they exist) than those provided by van der Merwe and Noll & Blumhofer. Thanks. Finn Froding (talk) 17:35, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Like I said, I'm ambivalent about the sentence and don't care much if it stays or goes. But be prepared at some unforetold future point that someone is going to fuss about it. I may nudge you when that happens as you feel more strongly about it than I do. --Moni3 (talk) 21:57, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hmong name

According to:

  • Orozco, Ron. "Merced Hmong Alliance Church." The Fresno Bee. Saturday January 12, 2002. H2.

The name of "Amazing Grace" in Hmong is "Yexus Hlub Kuv" WhisperToMe (talk) 00:45, 13 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. ^ Tyranny, Blue" Gene (2011). "String Quartet No. 4 ("Amazing Grace")",