Traditional Spiritual

Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

    Description by Robert Cummings

    This is an African-American spiritual probably dating to the first half of the nineteenth century. These songs of a religious nature were composed by slaves living in the southern United States prior to and during the Civil War. Their text often contained hidden messages about escape to the North or to Canada or was a veiled protest against slavery. This song, however, expresses only the pain suffered by the slaves, while, of course, offering hope to them through fervent Christian belief. Its melody is nostalgic in its moderately paced, old-South character. It features the kind of lyricism heard in many Stephen Foster songs and, curiously, sounds like an early version of the popular American folk song "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley." The secondary material in "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" takes on a somewhat more glorious, less rhythmically jaunty manner while still conveying that sense of nostalgic warmth. Like "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," this is a classic spiritual that should appeal strongly to lovers of the genre.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 PentaTone Classics PTC 5186571
    2017 Audite 97725
    2016 Griot Hörbuch Verlag
    2015 Acis Productions APL 08685
    2014 Gothic Records G 49282
    2014 Carus CV 83339
    2013 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099943329
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099973166
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099967859023
    2011 Albany Music Distribution 1244
    2010 Gothic Records 49272
    2008 EMI Music Distribution / Essentiels de L'Audio 724356273122
    2008 EMI Classics 14126
    2008 EJD Records 166
    2008 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 346641
    2007 Cedille Records 97
    2007 Urania 328
    2006 Cuneiform Records RUNE 241
    2006 Living Era 5622
    2006 Deja Vu 20
    2006 Altara Music 1010
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000673602
    2005 Storyville / Nostalgia Arts 3033025
    2005 Querstand 9816
    2003 Gvc GVC 2004
    2003 Albany Music Distribution 587
    2002 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5573192
    2002 EMI Classics / Denon Records / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243562507
    2001 ASV / ASV/Living Era CDAJS 244
    2001 Deutsche Grammophon 457763
    2000 Arts Crossing 49008
    2000 Multisonic 310506
    1999 Frémeaux & Associés FA 168
    1999 Philips 412631
    1997 BMG 68157
    1996 Chandos 4543
    1996 Studio SM 2451
    1996 BMG 68513
    1995 DSB 1041
    1994 Pavane 7267
    1993 Marquis Classics 81115
    1993 Centaur Records 2060
    1993 RCA Victor Living Stereo / RCA / RCA Victor 61253
    1993 RCA / RCA Victor 61253
    1991 Chandos CHAN6540
    1984 Angel Records / EMI Music Distribution CDC-47026
    B & O 535344
    B & O 535344
    Quilisma 403
    Claremont Recordings 785059
    EMI Music Distribution
    EMI Classics 14128
    EKR 26
    Audio Reality Recordi 57114
    RCA 61253