“No More Sorrow” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo

This is exactly what I needed today.


That’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a South African choral group most recognized for their work on Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” And the sound of their singing is astonishingly joyful. Which means it’s hard for me to think of a group more fitted to sing a song about the passing away of sorrow and suffering and death. Inspiring.

Perhaps even more inspirational, though, is the fact that their joy is coming from a place of very real, very deep sorrow. Here’s a bit more from he LA Times’ “Pop and Hiss” post that first brought this song to my attention late last year:

The album, “Always With Us,” is scheduled for release Jan. 15 and is dedicated to Shabalala’s wife, Nellie, who was shot and killed in 2002 by a masked gunman outside their home in Durban.

Shabalala took tracks she had recorded with her ensemble, Women of Mambazo, which was formed at the township church she and her husband founded, and arranged his group’s vocals around them to wed the two groups’ music.

“No More Sorrow” closes the 10-song collection. It is the only song sung completely in English. As in the other tracks, there are both blending and call-and-response sections between the voices of Women of Mambazo and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Albert Mazibuko, Shabalala’s cousin and one of the last original members of the group, told NPR’s Tell Me More that “Even when we lose people, the music has been there to comfort us. When we hear the bad news, we always come together and sing and pray.”


(Image Credit: Darren Phillip Jones, via NPR)

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About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, being amazed by his (currently) lone daughter, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.