Bill to Make Dolly Parton's Version of “Amazing Grace” State Hymn Overwhelmingly Passes Tennessee House
Please stand for the Queen of Tennessee.
Dolly Parton's version of "Amazing Grace" is well on its way to becoming the state's official hymn after the Tennessee House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass new legislation last week.
The bill passed 91-1 on Monday, reports WZTV.
Rep. Mike Sparks (R-Smynra) and Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) introduced HB 0938/SB 1416 in February, shortly after Parton said "thanks but no thanks" to a statue of her being erected on the grounds of the state Capitol in Nashville.
The bill now heads to the state Senate, and then, if all goes well, to the governor's desk.
In the bill, lawmakers argue the importance of recognizing "songs of historic significance that have influenced the state." The text of the bill highlights songwriter John Newton's Christian faith and his efforts to abolish slavery.
"Mr. Newton's conversion from a merchant and slaver to a man of faith led him to speak out against slavery, and although many of England's large port cities greatly benefited from the slave trade, Mr. Newton and other social critics began to speak out against the practice," the bill states.
"Mr. Newton continued to support the abolishment of slavery until it was finally passed by the House of Commons in 1804, and he spent the remainder of his life as a priest in Olney, working to help others find a deeper understanding and love through their faith," the bill continues.
The beloved 1770s hymn has also been recorded by Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Little Richard, and Garth Brooks.
Parton has yet to comment on the bill.