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Where Did "Kum Ba Yah" Come From?  
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1628 posts, RR: 28
Posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2457 times:

For as long as I can remember, at least since my childhood, the staple campfire song "Kum Ba Yah" (usually sung by my family, or a group at camp, or wherever, around a campfire, usually to the accompaniment of an acoustic guitar) has become a permanent memory in my mind.

My family have sung it around the campfire (to my guitar accompaniment), and when I have attended summer camp in my distant youth, we campers and counselors have also sung it.

When my family sing it, we add our own words to it (in extra stanzas), since it is an ongoing song where you can add whatever lyrics you fancy to it.

I've been wondering for a long time now, where did "Kum Ba Yah" originate? Why is it still popular today? I want to hear your explanations for it (even the wild ones you can think up, such as aliens taught it to the hippies in the 1960s, etc)!

Will we still be singing it for a long time to come? When I'm an old grey-haired man (wait, I'm ALREADY grey!), will I still be strumming my guitar to that tune?

SmithAir747


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2454 times:

My info was that it was a spiritual taught by missionaries and the actual lyric was 'come by here' but it was pidginized to kum baya.


Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2454 times:

http://www.answers.com/topic/kum-ba-yah

Kum ba yah, meaning "Come By Here" in the Gullah language, is the title of a Christian hymn which originated in the lowlands of South Carolina. Gullah — a Creole blend of heavily-accented English and West African languages — was spoken by the African-American slaves living in the area. The melody is of African origin.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offline777DadandJr From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1516 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2445 times:

Hey Smith,
Check this out:
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a980911a.html

Did a quick google and found it.

Russ



My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.
User currently offlineJetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7410 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2438 times:
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Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
will I still be strumming my guitar to that tune?

Time will tell. But stay away from Joan Baez, Joanie Mitchell, and other marxist has-been concerts and you'll be alright.



Made from jets!
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2433 times:

Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 4):
But stay away from Joan Baez, Joanie Mitchell, and other marxist has-been concerts and you'll be alright.

One of the most famous recordings of the song was by Joan Baez in 1962. So much for the rhetoric.



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