The other day it finally dawned on me why I really like the 57-second intro for this song from 1997. The worldwide hit by All Saints is called “Never Ever,” and I never ever put two and two together that the music underneath the spoken intro is “Amazing Grace”!
A completely intentional move on the part of the band, and a good one, I might add. They add a slight variation to the centuries old hymn, but there’s enough there that this old wily detective finally caught on, two decades later.
While researching this, I was surprised to discover “Amazing Grace” is originally the tune of a song called “New Britain.”
I also came across an article that explains in more detail how the band used AG in their song, but here’s a snippet:
A text within a text. “Never Ever” does have something special of this sort. In its harmony it explicitly refers to an old popular song, “Amazing Grace”, which has become part of our collective musical consciousness. In “Never Ever” the chords of the first four measures of this hymn are clearly audible behind the spoken intro, as they are accentuated by the piano accompaniment and the voices in the background. And the ghost of this song will stay there for the remainder of “Never Ever”. This overlay of songs turns the songlines of “Never Ever” into a text within a text.
-Out of the Wilderness