Mudcat Café message #2517021 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65010   Message #2517021
Posted By: Nerd
16-Dec-08 - 01:52 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Kumbaya
Subject: RE: Origins: Kumbaya
We don't have the lyrics to all the songs, because three of the four Gordon cylinders were damaged or lost. All we have is the card catalog records he created for the cylinders. The one cylinder that we DO have was a longer spiritual about Daniel in the Lion's Den.

Each verse was just one line repeated six times. The lines were:

(1) Daniel in the Lion's Den
(2) Daniel [went to?] God in prayer
(3) The Angel locked the Lion's Jaw
(4) Daniel [took a deep night's rest?]
(5) Lord, I am worthy now
(6) Lordy won't you come by here

(What I am posting here are transcriptions by my colleague Todd Harvey. I haven't heard these recordings. In some cases, these are his "best guesses" as to what is being sung.)

On the Ethel Best recording from 1936, made by John Lomax, each verse was a single line repeated 3 times, followed by "oh, Lord, come by here."

(1) Come by here, my lord, come by here
(2) Well we [down in?] trouble, Lord, come by here
(3) Well, it's somebody needs you lord, come by here
(4) Come by here, my lord, come by here
(5) Well it's somebody sick Lord come by here
(6) Well, we need you Jesus Lord to come by here
(7) Come by here, my lord, come by here
(8) Somebody Moanin', Lord, come by here

Two of the Gordon card catalog records, for cylinders that cannot now be played, are almost certainly versions of the same song; one is called "Come by here, Lord, come by here," and the other "Somebody need you Lord, come by here."

The version from The Carolina Low Country, exactly as transcribed in that book:

Somebody Need you, come by yuh [X3]
Oh, Lawd, Come by yuh

Wan' tuh git tuh heben, come by yuh [X3]
Oh, Lawd, Come by yuh

Soon een de mawnin' come by yuh [X3]
Oh, Lawd, Come by yuh

Jesus duh call you, come by yuh [X3]
Oh, Lawd, Come by yuh

Cyan' cross de ribbuh, come by yuh [X3]
Oh, Lawd, Come by yuh

Yo' fadduh duh call you, come by yuh [X3]
Oh, Lawd, Come by yuh

On duh way tuh Glory, come by yuh [X3]
Oh, Lawd, Come by yuh

Gwine down tuh Jerdan, come by yuh [X3]
Oh, Lawd, Come by yuh

Pain got duh body, come by yuh [X3]
Oh, Lawd, Come by yuh