Excerpt: Biodesign Out For A Walk, Chap. 28, “Amazing Faith.”
We were singing out of our songbooks, and, as was the custom, students were invited to make selections that they deemed appropriate. I was quietly strumming my guitar, waiting for the next song selection when someone suggested, “Amazing
Grace.” Dianna was at my left, and she leaned over and quietly said, “I
hate that song.”
“Amazing Grace” may be the quintessential musical mystery and irony. Love it or despise it, its enigmatic blend of melody and lyrics has made it the most widely known song on planet Earth. It has been translated into over 200 languages, a number that is probably too conservative. However, setting language apart, the melody often has a haunting, beguiling and soothing affect on listeners. Interestingly, the effects can be highly magnified when it is played on an oboe, pan flute or bagpipes. The song is played frequently in churches, at weddings, funerals and military memorial services.
Understandably, a song with such universal power and charisma could not exist without detractors. Agnostics often find it bothersome; Secular humanists and atheists typically reject it more viscerally. The song has been banned, either tacitly or overtly, from public performances in atheist countries and or communities. A growing number of public el/hi, college and universities, in the US have, removed the song from their “politically correct” list of songs that choirs can perform.
However, none of this rhetoric matters a whit to the families and loved ones who are standing in tears next to a casket of a soldier, police officer or fireman who died in the service of his fellow man. As terrible as the pain may be, there is often something deeply comforting when the notes of “Amazing Grace” groan out of a set of bagpipes.
I wept when I watched Doring’s video. Not 0nly because of the beauty and simplicity, but because our children are being taught they are soul-less, random accidents who are not appreciably different from chimpanzees. I don’t recall seeing a chimp fashion a pan flute or play a soul-stirring song. Really sad!