I'm practicing a simplified version of Amazing Grace from Charles Segal's book Instant Piano Keyboard. I've included a picture of the sheet music below. I would like to sing along as I play this song, but I'm not quite sure how the words fit with every note.

Amazing Grace from Charles Segal's *Instant Piano Keyboard* Obviously the first five notes, D-G-B-G-B are "a-ma-zing grace". Then A-G-E-D are "how sweet the sound". Then D-G-B-G-B-A-D are "that saved a wretch like me". But I'm not sure how to arrange the rest of the lyrics.

Could someone please help me arrange the lyrics for the remaining notes, starting with the 9th measure?

3 Answers 3


The problem is that your tune is wrong in bars 9 to 11. At least, it's different from the versions I've heard. I prefer your version, but then I'm old and jaded and wouldn't care if I never heard the wretched thing again! Maybe yours is the original version.

This is the tune I know:

enter image description here

I think I've got the words right. But I don't know the next verse. It probably doesn't start with 'Frogs': I just put it there so you could see where the first word of verse two should go.

Here are the bars where your tune is different:

enter image description here

You need slurs over the notes, or under them, to show there are two notes to one syllable.

  • 4
    I had to vote that up for the frogs if nothing else.
    – badjohn
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 7:24
  • 1
    You can't beat a good old pentatonic! A 250 yr old song recorded over 6,000 times, may well have several different versions! Doubt if 'frogs' featured though. ''Twas' was the missing word. Had a girlfriend called Grace, and, yes, she was... +1.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 7:35
  • 1
    The version in the question is familiar to me, so it's definitely not "wrong"/ a misprint.
    – Edward
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 14:36

Look at this version of "Amazing Grace" from the Gather 3rd edition hymnal. It uses the same version of the melody as your sheet music.

enter image description here

Link to image source


You can take two approaches to this sort of problem, where the tune and the words aren't a good fit. You can take the tune as fixed and distort the words to suit it. Or you can modify the tune to suit the words.

For the version of the tune you've shown us, and the traditional words, what's shown in @Edward's answer will be required.

enter image description here

To suit the words, the tune could be modified.
enter image description here

Or the words could be changed to fit the tune. enter image description here

But I think both words and tune have become so iconic that neither would be accepted! So we're stuck with the awkward melisma. Happens a lot in religious songs, particularly multi-verse ones.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.