Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen
The source for Moerane’s 1937 harmonisation of the famous African American spiritual, Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, was a version for solo voice and piano published by Ricordi in New York. The cover of the 1917 edition of this book is shown below, and it is the likely source for several other spirituals that Moerane arranged. The tune of Nobody Knows had been known in South Africa for much longer, however, at least since since the Virginia Jubilee Singers toured with it in their repertoire in the 1890s. Moerane’s three-part arrangement for female voices was published by Lovedale Press in 1938 in tonic solfa notation, and it treats the soulful theme with great delicacy and sweetness. A Paul Robeson version on Youtube was re-issued in 1945 but recorded years earlier, and Moerane might have known it. In order to help choirs learn Moerane’s choral version, a free rehearsal mp3 at a slow tempo is downloadable when the song is purchased.
The audio sample below was generated from the Sibelius file of the score and the image on the right shows the first page of the score.