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Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'

Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Kumbaya (105)
How Do You Pronounce 'Kumbaya'? (8)
Do you still sing Kumbaya (16)
(origins) Lyr Add: Come By Yuh (Spiritual) (18)
Why is Kumbaya a dirty word? (115)
(origins) Composer: Kumb Bah Yah (19)
Lyr Req: Kumbaya / Kum Ba Yah (10)


Cool Beans 29 Jan 07 - 02:55 PM
Scoville 29 Jan 07 - 02:57 PM
Slag 29 Jan 07 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,IB48 29 Jan 07 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Gerry 29 Jan 07 - 07:39 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 29 Jan 07 - 07:57 PM
Tinker 29 Jan 07 - 08:00 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jan 07 - 08:29 PM
Ref 29 Jan 07 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,LilyFestre 29 Jan 07 - 08:53 PM
SouthernCelt 29 Jan 07 - 10:57 PM
BusyBee Paul 30 Jan 07 - 06:38 AM
treewind 30 Jan 07 - 06:48 AM
GUEST 30 Jan 07 - 07:55 AM
Azizi 30 Jan 07 - 08:26 AM
wysiwyg 30 Jan 07 - 08:48 AM
Strollin' Johnny 30 Jan 07 - 08:58 AM
Scoville 30 Jan 07 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jan 07 - 09:52 AM
Tinker 30 Jan 07 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,neovo 30 Jan 07 - 11:18 AM
Joe Offer 30 Jan 07 - 12:55 PM
lilly 30 Jan 07 - 03:23 PM
Anne Lister 30 Jan 07 - 03:27 PM
The Sandman 30 Jan 07 - 03:28 PM
Joybell 30 Jan 07 - 03:43 PM
Azizi 30 Jan 07 - 05:51 PM
ClaireBear 30 Jan 07 - 06:23 PM
Azizi 30 Jan 07 - 07:08 PM
ClaireBear 30 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM
Charley Noble 30 Jan 07 - 07:26 PM
Azizi 30 Jan 07 - 07:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Jan 07 - 07:57 PM
Gulliver 30 Jan 07 - 08:41 PM
GUEST,Nancy King at work 30 Jan 07 - 08:47 PM
dianavan 31 Jan 07 - 04:21 AM
dianavan 31 Jan 07 - 04:22 AM
Alba 31 Jan 07 - 05:16 AM
DaveA 31 Jan 07 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 31 Jan 07 - 08:32 AM
Alba 31 Jan 07 - 08:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jan 07 - 09:41 AM
Uncle_DaveO 31 Jan 07 - 10:38 AM
ClaireBear 31 Jan 07 - 11:09 AM
moongoddess 31 Jan 07 - 09:00 PM
Azizi 31 Jan 07 - 09:25 PM
Snuffy 01 Feb 07 - 09:05 AM
moongoddess 01 Feb 07 - 09:49 PM
Azizi 01 Feb 07 - 10:16 PM
Chanteyranger 02 Feb 07 - 12:39 AM
GUEST,jimmiejazz 31 Mar 08 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Peter Gozinya 31 Aug 10 - 06:48 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 10 - 07:32 PM
Suffet 01 Sep 10 - 11:12 AM
olddude 01 Sep 10 - 11:21 AM
Jack Campin 21 Mar 17 - 11:21 AM
Jeri 21 Mar 17 - 12:33 PM
Senoufou 21 Mar 17 - 01:55 PM
The Sandman 21 Mar 17 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Patricia Averill 27 Aug 17 - 09:20 AM
Elmore 28 Aug 17 - 01:45 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Aug 17 - 03:35 AM
Phil Cooper 29 Aug 17 - 08:56 AM
Joe Offer 29 Aug 17 - 04:12 PM
Anne Lister 29 Aug 17 - 06:46 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Aug 17 - 06:54 PM
leeneia 30 Aug 17 - 11:51 AM
keberoxu 30 Aug 17 - 02:16 PM
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Subject: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Cool Beans
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 02:55 PM

It's become an over-used punchline--as in "Don't expect Republicans and Democrats to hold hands and sing 'Kumbaya " Google has 89,000 citations of the phrase.
But here's the thing. Although I learned 'Kumbaya' at summer camp in 1960, (but didn't discover it meant "Come By Here" for a couple more years), and I sang along with it at concerts throughtout the 60s, I don't remember ever HOLDING HANDS and singing "Kumbaya."
What's your recollection?


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Scoville
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 02:57 PM

It's a stereotype. I think I've sung "Kumbaya" maybe three times in my entire life, and never holding hands.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Slag
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 03:01 PM

I firmly grip one hand with the other, grit my teeth and THEN sing "Kumbaya".


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,IB48
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 03:06 PM

A devil dog with a machine gun couldnt get me to sing kumbaya


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 07:39 PM

We sang it on the bus on the way to and from day camp circa 1960. Holding hands was not an option.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 07:57 PM

You got it wrong, IB48. The devil dog with a machine gun isn't there to make you sing "Kumbaya". He's there if you sing "Kumbaya".


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Tinker
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 08:00 PM

Okay Okay I confess I went to one of "those camps". I remember standing by the campfire late in the evening arms crossed, hands held, body's swaying and Kumbaya being sung... and my kids have done it within the last 5 years.....

Leaving now.....


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 08:29 PM

I think that "Kumbaya" is a very nice song for Brownie Scouts. Nobody else can pull it off without looking silly, but girls who are 6, 7, and 8 can sing it and bring a tear to my eye.
I remember about ten years ago, I was at The Huntington Gallery, home of the 18th century masterpieces, Blue Boy and Pinkie. As I was leaving, I saw a half-dozen girls sitting under a tree in a circle, singing "Kumbaya" and wearing dresses from the 1790's, in a variety of pastels. There was something wonderful about that sight. Maybe they were all spoiled little rich girls with domineering parents - but at that moment, for me, they were perfect.

And the song was perfect, too.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Ref
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 08:42 PM

Oooooookay. Granted it's become something of a cliche, but that's because it's a popular piece. there are wonderful harmonic opportunities in it. There used to be a male Quartet called The Revelers who recorded a spectacular, rolling, uplifting version of it that sounded like eight guys instead of just the four. I wish i could get it onto a CD. it might rehabilitate some of you jaded sophisticates!


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,LilyFestre
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 08:53 PM

Of course I have sung this song and held hands with others around the campfire. Isn't that what camp is all about? It was one of my favorites, very calming.

LQF


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: SouthernCelt
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 10:57 PM

There's nothing wrong with the song but back in the peace and love generation years it was sung far too many times trying to persuade people to be touchy-feely, everybody-love-their-brother. Often it was done in groups where it was just inappropriate.

SC


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 06:38 AM

Last time I sang Kumbaya was at my Aunt's funeral - she was very active in the Brownie / Guide / Ranger movement in London and we wanted to reflect that huge part of her life in the service. My sister wanted us to sing Ging Gang Goolie but we compromised on Kumbaya, each verse sung as a response to a prayer. At least that way we didn't collapse into fits of laughter, and No, we didn't hold hands!


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: treewind
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 06:48 AM

Talking of clichés and stereotypes: A proper folkie wouldn't be holding hands with anyone while singing because he'd have his finger in his ear.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 07:55 AM

Perhaps you could get the proper communal spirit if everyone put their finger into the ear of the next person round the circle.
Or is that too crazy even for Folkies?
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 08:26 AM

I'm curious about this custom of [to quote Tinker; 29 Jan 07 - 08:00 PM ] "...standing by the campfire late in the evening arms crossed, hands held, body's swaying and Kumbaya being sungholding hands".

In the 1960s this same practice of arms crossed holding hands with the persons standing next to you on either side became part of tradition of singing "We Shall Overcome" as a civil rights song [albeit not necessarily standing around a campfire].

Do you think there's some connection? Perhaps we'll never know, but {and with absolutely no disrespect intended and I hope none given}, I'm wondering if this custom was introduced to integrated audiences by White adults who sung Kumbayah that way at summer camps. This statement presupposes that African Americans didn't sing Kumbayah in that manner at camp or that way anywhere else. That comment also presupposes that we {African Americans} didn't sing "We Shall Overcome" that way, or didn't start the crossed arm custom of singing "We Shall Overcome". I have no way of knowing if any of these presuppositions are true. For what it's worth, I don't have any childhood or youth memories of singing "Kumbayah".

**

Although there are differences of opinion on this subject, I believe that "Kumbayah" originated with African American people. When you set aside the almost automatic downputting that occurs with contemporary mention of the song Kumbayah, I can imagine how powerful the words could have been to oppressed African Americans who [in my opinion and in the opinion of others] sang this song during United States slavery.

Actually, my first post to Mudcat addressed the origin of the song Kumbayah. For those interested in that topic, here's that thread:
Origins: Kumbaya

**

It's interesting to me that the song Kumbayah {Kumbaya} does not appear to be listed in Mudcat's African American Spirituals Permathread either under that title or under the name "Come By Here". Perhaps that's because there is still some difference of opinion as to whether Kumbayah is a 'real' African American spiritual or not.

I'd like to suggest that this song be added to the African American Spirituals Permathread and a question mark be put after its title.

If Kumbayah really is from the African American Gullah tradition, perhaps the souls of those who created this song will be satisfied by this compromise.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 08:48 AM

There are no judgment calls or compromises in the Spirituals Permathread such as you suggest, Azizi. Threads are added to the index whenever someone posts a note to it that a song needs to be added. It's a routine matter. Some of us working on the project also comb through old threads looking for things that should be added-- songs that were posted before Mudcat had any permathreads at all, much less the Spirituals one-- but for suggestions such as yours, a simple note to the permathread of a song title and a threadid number where it appears (or whole URL)is all that's needed.

So if you'd like to do a Mudcat search and find the thread(s) where the lyric text appears, I'll be happy to add it. If you want this discussion added as well, include this thread's thread ID or whole URL.

Also, there's no need to add a question mark. As the permathread states:
The goal of this index is to make it easier to search for information about individual songs from the widely-defined "Negro Spirituals" tradition. This means that even when there is doubt as to the "authentic" nature of a specific song, the song will be listed in this index.

In other words, being listed here does not mean that diligent scholarship has ensured that any specific song is a "spiritual" in whatever sense any one individual might mean the term... it means, "Here is a place where we can look up titles we know or run across, and see what others have said, and add what we know-- or ask questions."

The scholarship will be in the THREADS, not in this index... the index is merely a means of facilitating our continued study.


BTW, the Spirituals permathread is about halfway through a massive, long-overdue re-organiztion right now. I hope folks will take a LOOK.


On a personal note--

As far as people's dismissive attitude about the song, I feel the same way when it is sung in a sappy manner, just as I do about Amazing Grace. They're overworked and too "precious." ("De Colores" is another overworked item, IMO, sung by many who have no multicultural relationships at all!) But I heard a rockin' version of Kumbaya once that I really liked, and it's a great floating-verse song to use in the car when I have personal stuff to work through.

Thanks,

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 08:58 AM

It's had its day, if anyone starts up with it I usually take the opportunity to head for the john. Along with some others - Streets of London, Ramblin' Boy, Early Mornin' Rain etc., etc., etc. - it was done to death.

And it's a shame, because it - like the others - is a great song. Just way too 'Oh wow, like peace man' nowadays. Still goes down well with some aging, and change-resistant, hippies.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Scoville
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 09:43 AM

I don't care what the origins are of "Kumbaya"--I just hate the song. Everyone I know hates it because it's the first thing people who have no clue about folk music trot out when you say you play folk music, and we're all really tired of hearing about it. I have the same reaction to "Danny Boy" (yeah, yeah, I know--the words aren't folk . . . ), "Soldier's Joy", and "Roseville Fair", none of which are remotely African-American. If I could have them erased from memory for twenty years and then start over, I might learn to like them again. There's not necessarily anything wrong with the SONGS, I'm just heartily sick of them.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 09:52 AM

"Google has 89,000 citations of the phrase."

That's probably because Google is finding every page with "holding hands," or "singing" on them. Many of those pages won't have anything about Kumbaya on them.

Kumbaya has a lovely melody, and it feels good to sing it. All this sneering originated with rock and pop marketers because they feel threatened by such songs.

Mudcatters, go ahead and sing it if you like it. You don't have to take orders from those people.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Tinker
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 11:11 AM

Azzi, the camp I attended in the mid-sixties had been doing "closing songs" (quiet, meditative, get the kids ready too sleep) with arms crossed and holding hands for much of the history of the camp. It was founded in 1918. By the mid sixties the camp was integrated and well versed in protest songs. It is where at 12 in 1968 I learnt We Shall Over Come, and United Nations and Crayon Box those songs were not sung arms crossed. Green Trees/Peace and Taps were a more likely combination.

There are ties between the Civil Rights and Camp communities.

Camp Wo-Chi-Ca (Workers Children's Camp) was started in 1933, as the first interracial camp in America. It existed until 1951. Paul Robeson was on its board of trustees and was a frequent visitor and honored guest. The site now holds a joint Episcopal/Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center. You can see his camp theatre space half way down this page Paul Robeson Recreational Hall
My own guess is that there are countless ties between the two traditions that would be difficult to separate.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,neovo
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 11:18 AM

my recollection is of this song having actions eg holding hands palms together as if at prayer when singing "someone's singing Lord" and so on. Can't hold hands when you're doing the actions!


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 12:55 PM

I don't think it's a bad song. It's a song that was sung to death with the silly, cloying sincerity of stereotypical 60's folk.
So, it became a symbol of the stereotype.

But there's a lot of silliness in each of us, and maybe it's not a bad thing if we ALL sing with cloying sincerity every once in a while. Much better than constant cynicism, I think.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: lilly
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 03:23 PM

remember it from the girl guides,ah, happy memories!


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Anne Lister
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 03:27 PM

Now, I've used "Kumbayah" in voice workshops in the past, simply because it's easy to remember or learn, and at the stage in the voice workshop where I use it I do have people holding hands - or paws - or anything they've got. In fact, I even had a mention in the Mail on Sunday (note for American Mudcatters - NOT a sympathetic newspaper) with the immortal words "Grown men wept as Anne strummed along to Kumbaya on her guitar".   Which I didn't. But they might have done. And I might do it all again, so there.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 03:28 PM

yes very good while holding hands ,but not while one is exercising ones bowels.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Joybell
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 03:43 PM

I've held hands with fellow protesters on occaision - (while singing other songs) but what I really dislike is being TOLD to hold hands by a performer on a stage. -- That is unless we are dancing a circle dance.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 05:51 PM

FYI, I just submitted a post to add the song "Come By Here, My Lord" {Kumbayah} to the African American Spirituals Permathread.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: ClaireBear
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 06:23 PM

I have a friend who went to Africa recently on a church (ELC Lutheran) trip. She'd never been to Africa and was really looking forward to hearing some actual African music at the church service she attended while there.

Three guesses what was sung...


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 07:08 PM

Yes, but did they hold hands while singing it?

:o)


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: ClaireBear
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM

Hmmm...did they hold hands? And was there a campfire, while we're asking...good questions! I'll ask, and get back to you on what country, community and sect it was too when I can -- I realize I didn't provide much information, but this actually jest happened within the last few weeks and my info is sparse thus far.

My friend was SO disappointed! I think that was the only song they sang, too.

(Too bad it wasn't me there; I actually kind of like Kumbayah, but then I'm perverse.)


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 07:26 PM

One happy memory I have of this song was when I taught it to a group of South African refugee students who were attending the school I was teaching at in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1966. As part of an annual school program we did "Kumbaya," "The Hammer Song," and some South African liberation songs. It's the one tape I've lost that I have the most regrets about. But it was a wonderful presentation.

Good songs like this one will be rediscovered after they have aged an appropriate period of time. I don't think this one is endangered.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 07:41 PM

Actually, ClaireBear, I was trying to make a joke.

But it would be interesting to know how the folks in that African church sang Kumbayah..for instance in what tempo, were percussive features such as foot stomping and handclapping added, was there instrumentation, or was it sung plaintively, or was it sung in a spirit of unity "with arms crossed and bodies swaying"...

I'm assuming that these church members didn't sing Kumbayah around a camp fire, unless it was at a church camp [??].

**

I'm also wondering if the church members usually sung Kumbayah or if they sung it on that occassion because they knew ahead of time or because they noticed that they had White guests. Most people act different around guests, don't you think? I'm wondering how small this congregation was and if they if they have White people in their congregation and/or have had experience with White visitors before.

I wonder if the choir or congregation or both {which was it, by the way?} sang Kumbayah because it was an English song that they knew and maybe they thought it would please their guests to sing it.

And I wonder how those folks really "get down" {or, since this is church we're talking about-get their spirits up} when there are no guests around.

I'm just trying to be real here. I'm not trying to make race an issue, but race is more often a factor in experiences than some folks would admit that it is.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 07:57 PM

There's not necessarily anything wrong with the SONGS, I'm just heartily sick of them.

Scoville's comment there sums it up. People get tired of songs, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the songs.

I think the first time I heard it and sang it would have been at a Pete Seeger concert. We sang it pretty well too.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Gulliver
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 08:41 PM

I was just starting Secondary School (run by the Christian Brothers, in Dublin, Ireland) when I first heard this song from a group of "trendy" young priests with guitars who carried out a week-long mission at our school. The previous mission we had had was from the Redemptorists (I think that's what they were called), who's main (or rather, only) theme was hellfire, damnation, all sinners and non-Catholics burning forever in Hell, etc.

It was all sweetness and light for the week that the young priests were there, then it was back to the corporal punishment and deviant sexual practices of the Christian Brothers.

The song brings back unhappy memories.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,Nancy King at work
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 08:47 PM

I don't think I've heard it sung for at least 32 years. I can remember singing it then because it makes a great lullabye, and I sang it to both my kids. When the new grandkid comes along, I'll probably find occasion to sing it again...

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: dianavan
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 04:21 AM

I have the same response to hearing Kumbayah as I do to hearing Stairway to Heaven.

Let me outa here.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: dianavan
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 04:22 AM

I think they make you hold hands so you can't run.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Alba
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 05:16 AM

Yip Dianavan.
Maybe Plastic tiewraps are used on the hands and duct tape around the ankles in some cases...that's what it would take to get me to singalonga Kumbaya.
I seem to (these days) picture a scene from the film 'Airplane' whenever I see this song mentioned. A scene envolving a Nun singing with Guitar.

Hey if folks like to sing it and it makes them feel good..great.
It just doesn't do it for me however.

Another gem from my Girl Guide Campfire days was a song called Ging Gang Gooly, yes you read this correctly:)
...and it goes like this:

Ging Gang Gooly
Ging Gang Gooly Gooly Gooly Gooly Watcha
Ging Gang Goo Ging Gang Goo.
Ging gang Gooly Gooly Gooly Gooly Watcha
Ging Gang Goo Ging Gang Goo.

Haila! Haila Shaila.. Haila Shaila.. Haila whooo
Haila! Haila Shaila.. Haila Shaila.. Haila whooo
Shallywally Shallywally Shallywally Shallywally.
Umpa Umpa Umpa Umpa.........

For me there is little else to be said...*giggle*
Happy When's Day,
Jude

Clairebear, when you find out more about where in Africa your Friend visited it would be great to hear about it.. Hope all is well:)


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: DaveA
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 08:06 AM

OK enough!!

Maybe too many of the current generation of folkies have heard too many crap versions of classic songs like Kumbaya & Streets of London to ever want to hear them again.

But don't condemn the songs to oblivion & let the younger generation reject them unheard because people have tired of them.

For me, there will always be an appreciative smile when I hear Joan Baez singing Kumbaya or Ralph McTell singing Streets of London.

And bluntly, if you can't equal the performance or the writing, you really lack credibility when you take cheap shots as certain people have

Just my opinion

Dave


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 08:32 AM

No! Oh, no,no,no!! Nooooooo!!!! Please, no, oh please don't make me sing it!!!! Nooooooo!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Alba
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 08:57 AM

Ouch.....I just got my fingers smacked I think, naughty Alba

Well it would seem that while there are Folks like yourself Dave out there playing and liking this Song I am sure that 'Kumbaya' will survive.
As I said in my previous post: "Hey if folks like to sing it and it makes them feel good..great"

Jude (who's opinion of this Song remains the same regardless of who is performing it)


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 09:41 AM

An awful lot of musical snobbery around...


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 10:38 AM

I'm in the middle of reading Dave Van Ronk's memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, and I can't forbear to quote his anecdote that fits in this thread. (Timing is everything! I just left off reading the book last night, at this very incident!)

He's been talking about the folk scene some time I think in the late 50s, although he doesn't really date it. I'll pick up in the previous paragraph:

Besides that, he (Bob Gibson) was a good musician, and I sometimes think that he and Paxton were my favorite melodists in the folk songwriter field, Paxton for his incredible simplicity and Gibson for his ability to come up with unusual modulations and chord progressions.
   I also found that I really liked some of those people personally. Gibson, like Cynthia Gooding, was very polished onstage, but offstage they were both wonderfully cynical and funny. I remember years later seeing Bob at Newport with a group of people singing "Kumbaya," and it was turning into one of those really tacky group-gropes, with everybody joining hands and taking turns leading verses--"Someone's crying, Lord, Kumbaya," "Someone's dying, Lord, Kumbaya,"--and it gets arund to Gibson's turn, and he sings, "Someone's kidding, Lord . . ."


Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: ClaireBear
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 11:09 AM

Azizi, I knew it was a joke (and a funny one, too!) -- but I've read enough of your postings to know that, joking aside, you would probably like to know more about the circumstances. I am awed by your scholarship almost every day that I visit here! Nice to get a chance to say so.

Yes, I'm sure you're right that the congregation's behavior was influenced by the presence of guests and quite possibly by the race of those guests (being Lutherans, they all may well have been white guests; certainly my friend's appearance clearly reflects her Swedish ancestry).

It had not occurred to me that the hosts might have deliberately chosen Kumbaya to honor their guests because of its American origins, but of course that is entirely possible.

I'll see what more I can find out about the circumstances, but much depends on my friend's powers of observation and I'm not sure of those.

Claire


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: moongoddess
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 09:00 PM

Yes! I remember Gibson singing that Kumbaya thing at Newport in 64. He introduced Joan Baez and sang with her and wow, what a time that was.
If anyone ever asked (or asks) me to join hands and sing Kumbaya , I'd tell them to go away, I need my hands to play my guitar. Besides, I hate touchy-feely folk music. I'll leave that to Dr. Phil. And John Denver.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 09:25 PM

Thanks for your compliment, ClaireBear.

I'm glad you got my joke and that you weren't turned off by my questions and speculations.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Snuffy
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 09:05 AM

Arms crossed, holding hands in a circle? People were doing that to Auld Lang Syne long before Kumbaya was ever thought of.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: moongoddess
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 09:49 PM

Going back to what CoolBeans first posted - I asked my husband what he thought the phrase meant and he was in agreement with CoolBeans, but with a slightly different twist. He said that when a Democrat makes a suggestion that a Republican thinks is stupid or silly, like "let's end the war in Iraq" or "let's get a good healthcare program here in the USA", the Republican answer is "yea, and lets join hands and sing Kumbaya".
    I think Kumbaya is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, and it is made more beautiful when a large group is singing it, whether they are holding hands or not.
    Going back to the 60's: we would ling the most inappropriate words to this song, and I don't hthink I need to tell you what they were!


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 10:16 PM

"Going back to the 60's: we would ling [sing?] the most inappropriate words to this song, and I don't hthink I need to tell you what they were!"

moongoddess,I really hate the fact that I can never get the punchline of jokes or witty comments.

Now you got me tryin to guess what those inappropriate words could have been way back in the {19}60s and if those words have changed nowadays.

[Seriously...kinda]


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 02 Feb 07 - 12:39 AM

We sang Kumbaya at a summer camp I went to in the early 1960s in northern California, Hidden Villa, which was run by a Quaker couple, josephine and Frank Duveneck. They were aremarkable people, who began this racially integrated camp in the 1940s. This is where I first heard Kumbaya, and it was sung just before breakfast when all the campers were at their tables in the dining hall. Another one sung at that time was "Peace I ask of thee, o river," which along with Kumbaya, had a calming effect on the campers, for just a bit, before we went back to being our knucklehead selves. I don't remember crossing arms and holding hands on Kumbaya, but it was possible that we did that.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,jimmiejazz
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 09:22 AM

Now I know why I had no idea of the meaning of Kumbaya in the context of political discussions. I hated the 60s and I particularly hated folk music and still do. And yes, I'm an aging cynic. Not that there's anything wrong in that, of course.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,Peter Gozinya
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 06:48 PM

Yea, I was forced to hold hands around a campfire and sing that crap at least 4 times a summer, over 5 years in a row. It's not a good song, very basic, catchy at best. Thats why malnurished, stoned hippies, who don't know how to sing or play guitar, force it upon the young; strumming and swaying away, looking and sounding like morons all the while. I really really hate that song, Kumbayuck! MY LORD!


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 07:32 PM

I don't remember holding hands when this was sung at Methodist youth events and church camp worship services... we were too busy doing the ASL (American Sign Language) version as we sang (when singing it slow) or punctuating the song with handclaps (when singing a syncopated faster version I came to prefer).

The faster variant--which uses a different tune altogether--had words something like these:

"Somebody's praying, Lord, Kumbaya (clap-clap)
Somebody's praying, Lord, Kumbaya (clap-clap)
Somebody's praying, Lord, Kumbaya (clap-clap)
Rain, Storm, Fire, Wind, Kumbaya

Chorus: Kumbayah, kumbayah (clap-clap)
Kumbayah, kumbayah (clap-clap)
Kumbayah, kumbayah (clap-clap)
Rain, Storm, Fire, Wind, Kumbaya"

The chorus had some great harmonies--different parts for male & female voices. We threw ourselves into singing them with all the unrestrained, marginally innocent enthusiasm of, well, teenagers at a Methodist church camp.

Cynicism is easy and cheap. Innocent joy in the newly-discovered thrill of informal part-singing is harder to come by...here.

--Cuilionn, who misses those innocent summers of song


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Suffet
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 11:12 AM

They have it all wrong! You are supposed to hold hands and sing We Shall Overcome, not Kumbaya. This photo proves it.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: olddude
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 11:21 AM

What Joe said, remember my girls when they were at scout camp. It was very cute .. anyone after the age of 11 ... it is kinda creepy .. LOL


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Mar 17 - 11:21 AM

Holding hands and singing Kumbaya in a social science research paper...

what people will do at the end of the world


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Mar 17 - 12:33 PM

10-year-old thread, but...
I was in one of those Girl Scout camps, but we just sat on our logs in a circle around the campfire and sang it. The hand-holding isn't that much different from putting arms around each other and singing "Seamen's Hymn" at the close of a session. Singing and group bonding.

I'm not a gamer. I think I'd paint when the world ended. It works on the right parts of my brain, and encourages good neurotransmitters. I wouldn't be with other people, because I'm not around humans about 99.5% of the time anyway. Or I'd grab my towel, go to a bar, and wait for Ford Prefect.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Mar 17 - 01:55 PM

I don't think many Brits of my generation would feel at all happy 'holding hands' with folk on either side while singing. I remember the poor Queen singing Auld Lang Syne with Tony Blair (!!) at her side at the Millennium. She wouldn't cross her arms to hold his hand, and just extended a paw rather reluctantly, looking terribly ill-at-ease.

I always think the tune is such a dragging thing. It needs to be sung by true Africans, with 'open voices' and a lot of harmonies. Zulus for example, or Ladysmith Black Mambazo. But not earnest hippies swaying around and looking 'moved'. Yuk!

(I sang it as a Brownie in the early fifties, and hated the blooming thing even then!)


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Mar 17 - 02:17 PM

Holding hands is great, its good in a circle, a good way of promoting a one feeling.
i remember a festival that was run by maggie starkey. stanford arms. this was 30 years ago, everybody was going to join me in singing a song with joined hands
Sadly Ian Woods refused to sing and hold hands.
Ian was a pleasant guy, but I never understood what was his problem with being part of a circle holding hands.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: GUEST,Patricia Averill
Date: 27 Aug 17 - 09:20 AM

Last December I went into Amazon and YouTube to find versions of "Kumbaya" and "Come by Here" and was surprised at how many existed - literally hundreds. The Kumbaya Moment may have given "Kumbaya" a bad name, but it hasn't affected its international popularity. I started a new website to describe some of these new variants. My plan is to alternate posts between the two and compare how each treats a common theme. So far I've discussed some religious uses of the songs, and how live performances differ from recordings. I'm now discussing some of the versions most widely imitated in recent years, like those of Lightnin' Hopkins and Kurt Carr. The address is easy to remember: http://www.kumbayacomebyhere.com/


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Elmore
Date: 28 Aug 17 - 01:45 PM

Tony Saletan deserves the credit for resurrecting this classic.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 03:35 AM

i was just thinking how nice it would be if all the people on this thread could hold hands.

we could sing How much is that doggy in the window? if you like. I can play that one and know all the words.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 08:56 AM

I'm not that fond of Kumbaya, but understand why some people like it. I do object, when I'm sitting in an audience, when we are coerced into standing up and holding hands, or other "forced" comraderie. It's not just done with Kumbaya. I was at a house concert where the performers asked everyone to stand up and hold hands on Kate Wolf's Give yourself to Love. I like that song, I understand why the performers felt they wanted to do it, but I still only went along because I didn't want to try to explain why I would rather have stayed seated. The Revels performances where the cast tries to get the audience to join hands and circle around the theater also bothers me. I was at a holiday singalong last December where, when they did that and someone asked me to join (politely, I would add) I just said arthritic knees and they moved on.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 04:12 PM

I read in the paper, Al, there are robbers, with flashlights that shine in the dark. If I had that doggie in the window, he'd scare them away with one bark.

I moved away from Wisconsin in 1970, and I've spent most of my life in California since then. But I'm still a Midwestern Boy at heart, and I never got used to that shallow California huggy-kissy, handy-holdy kinda stuff.

Still, I get warm, fuzzy feelings remembering campfires that we closed with Kumbaya and holding hands, especially when in the company of very sincere young women with beautiful, long hair.

I learned "Kumbaya" and "Today" for the same reason - the beautiful, sincere, long-haired young women. Alas, those days are over.

But I still know the songs.

(and I know "Doggie in the Window," too)

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Anne Lister
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 06:46 PM

I have used Kumbaya in a voice workshop as it's a song that's easy to remember and add words to (which, in the context of the voice workshop, made a lot of sense). However I was stung to the quick (and reduced to helpless laughter at the same time) by a Mail on Sunday reporter who had attended the venue at which my voice workshop took place (amongst other sessions) and wrote, if I remember correctly, "Grown men wept as Anne strummed along to Kumbaya". Each individual part of that sentence might have been true (some men did shed some tears as part of the whole experience, I did have my guitar with me although my playing style isn't really strumming and we did sing Kumbaya) but put together in a sentence it didn't represent anything I recognised at all. Ah, the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday - what a waste of newsprint!


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Aug 17 - 06:54 PM

Senofou - Miss Piggy knew what was right. Bliar, a noov of the worst sort, simply presented a vulgar, vulgar distorted mirror of the Scottish tradition.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Aug 17 - 11:51 AM

I'm uncomfortable with huggy-kissy stuff too. When somebody wants to hold my hand, I smile and murmur, "I've been coughing." It works every time.

I like singing Kumbaya, partly because it's beautiful, and partly because of the harmonies that my friends improvise.


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Subject: RE: Holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya'
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Aug 17 - 02:16 PM

Miss you Senoufou.


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