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  • CPC Quartet & Mary Kay Burton

Kum Ba Ya (Come By Here)


Kum ba yah, my Lord, Kum ba yah,

Kum ba yah, my Lord, Kum ba yah,

Kum ba yah, my Lord, Kum ba yah,

O Lord, Kum ba yah.


Someone’s cryin’, Lord, Kum ba yah,

Someone’s cryin’, Lord, Kum ba yah,

Someone’s cryin’, Lord, Kum ba yah,

O Lord, Kum ba yah.


Someone’s singin’, Lord, Kum ba yah,

Someone’s singin’, Lord, Kum ba yah,

Someone’s singin’, Lord, Kum ba yah,

O Lord, Kum ba yah.


Someone’s prayin’, Lord, Kum ba yah,

Someone’s prayin’, Lord, Kum ba yah,

Someone’s prayin’, Lord, Kum ba yah,

O Lord, Kum ba yah.


Come by here, my Lord, come by here,

Come by here, my Lord, come by here,

Come by here, my Lord, come by here,

O Lord, Kum ba yah.


Regardless of where you find yourself on the Lenten journey, this spiritual reveals a yearning heart that resonates with many who find themselves in a wilderness. That heart makes a repetitive plea: “Come by here, my Lord.” It is a prayer for the presence of God wherever one might be, on any day of the year. If you are crying, or singing, or praying, what is obvious is that you are in need of God’s healing presence.


You might need God right now, today, regardless of your situation. Things might be fine with you. You could be singing up a storm full of joy, but this doesn’t neglect the need to pray, “Kum ba yah, my Lord.” This repeating line challenges us to make these words our words - repeatedly. It suggests our vast need for the Presence. Wouldn’t it be a sad pilgrimage without God? The spiritual reveals a faith that believes that the Lord will “come by here” - to us - when we call out. God is a God who is with us. Here. There. Everywhere. Always.


Prayer for the Day

Kum by yah, my Lord. Whether I cry tears of joy or sorrow, sing in celebration or sadness, pray in thankfulness or supplication, I need you. Come by here, even now.


From Luke A. Powery: “Were You There - Lenten Reflections on the Spirituals”

John Knox Press, Louisville, KY. 2019

Used by permission of the author.


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