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How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'?

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GUEST,Patricia Averill 14 Aug 16 - 01:09 PM
bubblyrat 14 Aug 16 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Senoufou 14 Aug 16 - 02:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 16 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,Desi C 16 Aug 16 - 12:44 PM
Mo the caller 16 Aug 16 - 02:43 PM
JohnH 16 Aug 16 - 04:24 PM
GUEST 16 Aug 16 - 04:26 PM
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Subject: How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'?
From: GUEST,Patricia Averill
Date: 14 Aug 16 - 01:09 PM

I've heard there are regional differences in how the word "kumbaya" is pronounced. Wondered if people could share how they say it.

What syllable do you stress when you say it? (It may be different than how you sing it).

How do you say the first syllable? Is it koom, comb, or kum? Does it rhyme with room, roam, or rum? Or something else?


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Subject: RE: How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 14 Aug 16 - 01:25 PM

Coom (as in the Welsh Cwm) ; By (as in bye ) : AAgh as in "Are you enjoying the evening,Mrs Lincoln ?" .


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Subject: RE: How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'?
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 14 Aug 16 - 02:23 PM

It depends on which origin one accepts. One is that it originated from the Gullah people (African-origin slaves on an island off S.Carolina) and the other is that it was taught by a missionary to Angolans, from whence it made its may back to the West.
If the former, then koom-buy-ah. If the latter, then come-by-ya ('come by here', asking the Lord to come and help)
But Gullah is a Creole, and has English as its origin. So one wonders just how the first syllable changed from come to koom.
My (admittedly limited!) experience of a few W African languages has been that there is no sound equivalent to the vowel in 'come'. But many, many words have 'oom' in them. For instance, 'tumbu' a nasty insect that lays its egg under your skin and hatches out from a hole like Alien. It's pronounced 'toom-boo'
I would therefore pronounce this as Koom-by-yah.


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Subject: RE: How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Aug 16 - 07:30 PM

In whatever way seems natural. We don't all speak the same way, and it's a word that has entered into our culture, with all its variations.


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Subject: RE: How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 16 Aug 16 - 12:44 PM

COME or CUM-BY-YAH


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Subject: RE: How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Aug 16 - 02:43 PM

None of that answers the 'regional variation' part of the question.
I agree "COME or CUM-BY-YAH". I'm originally from London, but probably learnt it in the 60s when I lived in the North of England. Potteries, then Tees-side then Cheshire. Probably Tees-side.


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Subject: RE: How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'?
From: JohnH
Date: 16 Aug 16 - 04:24 PM

= Come by here.


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Subject: RE: How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 16 - 04:26 PM

I've only heard it as "koom-bye-ah"

then again, I know some people who pronounce "come" so that to my ears it sounds like "koom"


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