Mudcat Café message #1264984 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65010   Message #1264984
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
05-Sep-04 - 09:07 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Kumbaya
Subject: RE: Kumbaya
Hi, Azizi. Long ago I was Frank.
I would like to get correct information on Kumbaya aka Come by Here, Lord. I have posted the information 'as I know it' but that, of course, is not the last word. Some of the singers of Seeger's time, I think, have put their own spin on the song.

Does anyone have a means of finding out about the song Pete Seeger supposedly heard at the Library of Congress, on a 1920 recording? It may be one of those songs with the same form (look at all the attempts to compare "Amazing Grace" with some Irish melody or another) but really unrelated- or it may be a clue to the origin.
As it stands, we know nothing earlier than the remake of the Marvin V. Frey gospel tune, which has not been posted. Does anyone know it?

"Michael Row the Boat" was sung by the boatmen in the Beaufort-Sea Islands area, and some 29 verses were noted by Allen in 1867. Unfortunately, the DT has an abbreviated representation and its origin with the black freemen and slaves of the Coast is not credited. It is likely new verses were added with each trip. See threads 31019 and 39335.