Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen

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The source for Moerane's 1937 harmonisation of the famous African American spiritual, Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen, was a tune published by Ricordi in New York. The spiritual had been known in South Africa since the Virginia Jubilee Singers toured with it in their repertoire in the 1890s. Moerane's three-part arrangement for girls' (or primary school) voices was published by Lovedale Press in 1938, in tonic solfa notation, and it treats the soulful theme with great delicacy. No recording exists, but the version Paul Robeson recorded, available on, is a great example, which - if it predates 1937 - Moerane may well have known.