One Hymn to the Tune of Another

A few years ago, I discovered that Amazing Grace fitted the tune of House of the Rising Sun.  I was quite chuffed with myself, not only because it made very familiar lyrics much more enjoyable to sing, but also because through the new melody, their meaning gained depth.

House of the Rising Sun is about a lost soul, regretful about pretty much everything.  Amazing Grace, written by ex-slaver John Newton, is very much the song of such a lost soul who, unaccountably, has been accepted by God.  The subconscious relationship I had with the melody brought huge depth and life to the well-known words.

After a couple of years of having but this one arrow in my quiver, I finally got around to investigating whether other such hymn-melody marriages could be made.  I now have over 30.  Read on …

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