"Come by here, my Lord" was sung by the slaves while picking cotton in the fields but heard in slave-ese as "Kumbaya" (come by hyah phonetically) to the slave owners and overseers.
I'm sure there is someone that can tell you otherwise but that was the way I was told it as a wee tot.
Back to the mats,
And because it was buggin me:
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"Kumbaya" (also spelled Kum Ba Yah) is a song claimed to have been composed by Reverend Marvin V. Frey (1918 – 1992) in the 1930s in Portland, Oregon.
Originally titled "Come By Here", it first appeared in "Revival Choruses of Marvin V. Frey", a lyric sheet printed in Portland in 1939. In 1946, the song returned from Africa with a missionary family, who toured America singing the song with its now world famous Angolan text "Kum Ba Yah".
There is debate about the truth of Frey's authorship claim; recent research has found that sometime between 1922 and 1931, members of an organization called the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals collected a song from the South Carolina coast. Come By Yuh, as they called it, was sung in Gullah, the Creole dialect spoken by the former slaves living on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Also, there is another version which was preserved on a wax cylinder in May 1936 by Robert Winslow Gordon, founder of what became the American Folklife Center. The eariest LP recording of the song was reccorded by Joe Hickerson, who later succeeded Gordon at the Ameican Folklife Center. Gordon discovered a woman named Ethel Best singing Come By Here with a group in Raiford, Florida. Various opinions on the issue can be found here.  The song enjoyed newfound popularity during the folk revival of the 1960s, largely due to Joan Baez's 1962 recording of the song, and became associated with the Civil Rights Movement of that decade. It is a standard campfire song in Scouting, YMCA, the Indian Guides, and others. It was also commonly used in Catholic "folk" masses of the 1970's.
This message has been edited by kenpoangel from IP address 22.214.171.124 on Sep 27, 2007 5:03 PM
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