An Amazing Three Hour Tour

One of the pleasant surprises of blogging is when someone stumbles onto an old post and it strikes a chord with them…and they share with you about it. 

That was the case this morning when I opened an email that fell into my “Possible Junk Mail” folder (because the sender isn’t in my address book). Here’s the gist of it:

Hello. Well, I just stumbled across this while looking for some ideas for other tunes for Amazing Grace. hmm… looks like some pretty old postings here in your little forum but if you’re interested: I had a friend a while back (say mid 90’s) who would often play Amazing Grace to the tune of the Gilligan’s Island theme song. You know the “Three hour tour” song. Anyway, enjoy.

This was a new one for me…Amazing Grace set to the theme music for Gilligan’s Island. But it took only a few seconds of humming the tune and then adding the words to see how it fits…and very well, too. At first glance, the tune is perhaps a bit too, um, lively (irreverent? trivial?) for such powerful words, but the change in key — if that’s what it is; I need a real musician to help me out here — of the last phrase sort of adds some solemnity. And, in the end, Amazing Grace is a quite happy and triumphant song. 

Works for me. But now, the question of the day is whether you’ve run across any other tunes for Amazing Grace. We’ve already got House of the Rising Sun, The Eagles’ Peaceful Easy Feeling, and now Gilligan’s Island. Surely there are others… 

If it helps, the meter of Amazing Grace is – Common Meter, according to The Baptist Hymnal. Granted, I don’t know from “25 or 6 to 4,” but perhaps you do.

Categorized as Music


  1. is the number of syllables. When the tune meter adds “Refrain,” only the verse fits a standard or known meter. The refrain is it’s own meter (rhythm of syllables.)
    I don’t know if the meter came first as a foundation for the tune or if the tune established the meter. I can’t remember if I ever learned that.
    As child I occupied my mind during lengthy sermons by paging thru the hymnal to see if I could find tune meters that matched with out “cheating” by looking at the numbers at the bottom of the page. Now the Baptist hymnal no longer lists the meter on the page. But it’s still in the back.
    Names for tunes came from composers names, locations of where songs were written, references to texts, etc.

  2. Deb, that’s a great combination…we’ll have to try to remember that one for next Christmas.
    And Phyllis, you know very well that I had you in mind when I posted that little footnote! 😉 Thanks for the education. I, too, played mental games with the hymnal, albeit not as sophisticated as yours. And, come to think of it, that practice extended well past childhood…but that’s another story.

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