Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday Sounds: Neil Diamond

Today's Sunday Sounds is one of the newer pieces from Neil Diamond. I'm sure Neil isn't aware of how much time we've spent together in my life, starting when I was about ten years old. My appreciation for his music matured along with his songwriting

There are as many interpretations of this song as there are listeners. People will argue passionately that it's a love song; others will argue just as passionately that it's about God. That's the thing about art; no matter what your original inspiration or intent, once you turn it loose in the world it morphs and changes through each eye and ear and heart on which it falls. Perception is a powerful creative force in itself.

My perception takes Neil Diamond's music and lyrics here and creates a prayer of gratitude for the love in my life...past, present, and future...friends, lovers, and that originates from within and without...divine love in human form.  That kind of grace is pretty amazing.

The album is Home Before Dark and the song is "Pretty Amazing Grace."

Pretty Amazing Grace Lyrics

Pretty amazing grace is what You showed me
pretty amazing grace is who You are
I was an empty vessel
You filled me up inside
and with amazing grace restored my pride

Pretty amazing grace is how You saved me
and with amazing grace reclaimed my heart
love in the midst of chaos
calm in the heat of war
showed with amazing grace what love was for

You forgave my insensitivity
and my attempt to then mislead You
You stood beside a wretch like me
Your pretty amazing grace was all I needed.

Stumbled inside the doorway of Your chapel
humbled in God by everything I found
beauty and love surround me
freed me from what I fear
ask for amazing grace and You appear

You overcame my loss of hope and faith
gave me a truth I could belive in
You led me to a higher place
showed Your amazing grace
when grace was what I needed

look in a mirror I see Your reflection
open a book You live on every page
I fall and You're there to lift me
share every road I climb
and with amazing grace You ease my mind

Came to You with empty pockets first
when I returned I was rich man
didn't believe love could quench my thirst
but with amazing grace You showed me that it can

In Your amazing grace I had a vision
from that amazing place I came to be
into the night I wandered
wandering aimlessly
found Your amazing grace to comfort me.

pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing
pretty amazing

You overcame my loss of hope and faith,
gave me a truth I could believe in.
You led me to that higher place
showed me that love and truth and hope and grace were all I needed. 


  1. Anonymous12:44 AM

    When I first heard this song I thought of the Bishop in Les Miserables and the grace he showed Jean Valjean when Valjean stole the silver from him, was caught and returned:

    Jean Valjean was trembling in every limb. He took the two candlesticks mechanically, and with a bewildered air.

    "Now," said the Bishop, "go in peace. By the way, when you return, my friend, it is not necessary to pass through the garden. You can always enter and depart through the street door. It is never fastened with anything but a latch, either by day or by night."

    Then, turning to the gendarmes:--

    "You may retire, gentlemen."

    The gendarmes retired.

    Jean Valjean was like a man on the point of fainting.

    The Bishop drew near to him, and said in a low voice:--

    "Do not forget, never forget, that you have promised to use this money in becoming an honest man."

    Jean Valjean, who had no recollection of ever having promised anything, remained speechless. The Bishop had emphasized the words when he uttered them. He resumed with solemnity:--

    "Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I buy from you; I withdraw it from black thoughts and the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God."

    The grace came from God, through the Bishop and transformed Valjean.

    You overcame my loss of hope and faith,
    gave me a truth I could believe in.
    You led me to that higher place
    showed me that love and truth and hope and grace were all I needed.

    I have loved Diamond for years too. Not sure where he is on his spiritual journey, but, whether he knows it or not, the Pretty Amazing Grace he sings about ultimately originates from God.

  2. Is this a new voice in the choir? If so, welcome...if not, welcome back. :)

    Your post reminds me of a quote:
    Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being. - Johann W. von Goethe

    That aside...I enjoyed your comment. I, too, believe that grace as described in the song originates from the Divine, the that as part of the All, we have the capacity to show that Divine Grace in our lives. We fail... often...but the capacity is always there, ready for us to rise to our own Divine nature. Perhaps we differ on the details (or not, I don't know), but we can certainly agree on the core.

    Please keep singing with us.


Sing with me...