Whether sung in church, Sunday School, or around the campfire, Kum Ba Ya is another of the most well known hymnsongs in American culture. Sung around the world in various forms, Kum Ba Ya (also occasionally spelled Kum Bah Yah or Kum Bah Ya) is easy to sing or play on any instrument. This document contains links to sheet music for Kum Ba Ya for all common concert band instruments as well as voice.
The origins of this song remain unclear. Some attribute Kum Ba Yah to a New York City minister named Marvin Frey, originally with wholly english lyrics. The song travelled around the world as sung by American missionaries and eventually returned to the United States with the first line altered to reflect the Angolan words for "Come By Here." Other disparaging histories attribute the song to a group known as the Society for the Preservation fo Spirituals. For more detailed information about this song consider visiting the Kum Ba Ya page at Wikipedia . You may also be interested in reading an interesting article about the meaning of the words Kum Ba Ya.
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Any arrangements written by Chad Criswell and MusicEdMagic.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. There is no charge for these materials, but educational institutions that use them in their classrooms are asked to provide a link either in their printed concert programs or on their school web site linking to MusicEdMagic.com.
Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya
O Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
Someone’s singing, Lord, kumbaya
Chad Criswell is a career music educator working in the Iowa public schools. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications both online and in print. He currently serves as the national music technology writer for NAfME's Teaching Music Magazine and has presented sessions at numerous music education conferences including the 2012 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.
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