I'm sure I can remember "Deep river" being sung by Paul Robeson whilst I was still a small child in the late 1940's. As a child, I always associated the words "deep river" with the depths of Paul Robeson's voice and especially when swimming in my beloved River Severn at Worcester, England. The version I sing can be found in Lieder, Songs und Gospels 3
. I would love to be just a quarter as good as this famous Canadian but, sadly - alas and alack etc., we are many galaxies apart.
This version is quite different to that found in The Story of the Jubilee Singers
in that it is in the key of D (A in the original) and provides only one verse instead of the original's three verses.
It was an unexpected pleasure was to be reunited with this song again in 2006 when I was a member of Die Zeitlupe
. There we sang an E♭
-major SATB arrangement by H. T. Burleigh - a nice contrast to the more "classical" items in our programme.
It may be found in 4 Voices
published by Edition Helbling