Translation: “Come by me (my Lord)”

Readership: All;
Theme: Giving the gift of yourself to others.
Length: 650 words
Reading Time: 2 minutes + 3:34 minute video

Pete Seeger sings Kumbaya in Australia (1963-10-24)

This year, I’ve seen Kumbaya mentioned a few times in the comments and elsewhere around the sphere. The majority of them are mocking or dismissive in tone. I need to say something about this.

Singing Kumbaya (e.g. around a campfire at night) is a powerful experience which draws participants into a spirit of worship characterized by a subjective mood of humility, faith, and hope in a small group setting. It is this feature of the music that makes it deeply moving. This spirit of worship is the backbone of gospel music, and this aspect of gospel music has been a major influence on several other genres of music, including Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Pop, Soul, and the early formations of R+B and Rock-and-Roll.

In fact, within the music profession, it is well known that a person cannot sing well, unless he/she is in a worshipful mood, whether they care to admit that’s what it is or not. For instance, vocal students are taught to focus on their emotional energy and “think high” in order to gain an ear for producing the correct intonations.

Lately, this spirit of worship has fallen out of fashion within the music industry, and this is the main reason why a lot of modern music is trash, and also why most music doesn’t stand the test of time.

Likewise, this spirit of humility and worship is the beauty and the value of Kumbaya and similar songs. However, in our current culture, only children are permitted this poignant experience, because their hearts have not yet been hardened by the idols of our age – feminism, individualism, materialism, liberal progressivism, and sexualism. As children grow older, they become accustomed to the ways of this world and gradually lose their appreciation for that small group sense of humility, faith, and hope that is manifested in the Kumbaya experience.

As adults, it is easy for us to dismiss Kumbaya as childish and naively idealistic. But we must not lose sight of the spiritual virtues that are manifested in this experience. We must remain aware that the reason why we lose this sensitivity is because our hearts have been hardened by being continually exposed to the norms of idolatry, and participating in those norms to varying degrees as a matter of living in this world.

Those who are hard of heart will fail to recognize this beauty. Their identification with the world and becoming well accustomed to worldly standards and appearances inevitably blinds them to the beauty of worship and humility. As a result, a song such as Kumbaya appears to be boring, laughable, naïve, ridiculous, simplistic, or “goody-two-shoes”.

The spiritual defilement that accompanies this kind of attitude is not limited to one’s tastes in music. Back in August, we had a few posts that described how women get sucked into secular standards of beauty and attractiveness. Women like this gain a disposition of scorning modest women with a quiet spirit. Our articles didn’t mention it, but the same is true for men too. The constant submersion in sex hardens men’s hearts and teaches them to only be attracted to bulbous butt bimbos. It is an identification with the world that produces a hardness of the heart, and a blindness to true relationship potential. (I know, because I was like this years ago.)

If you want to be close to God, it is imperative that you soften your heart. One fair litmus test of knowing how soft your heart is, is how you perceive the glorious humility conveyed in songs like Kumbaya.

Lest we forget.

About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Attitude, Authenticity, Child Development, Choosing a Partner or Spouse, Collective Strength, Discerning Lies and Deception, Discernment, Wisdom, Faith Community, Fundamental Frame, Glory, Holding Frame, Identity, Introspection, Joy, Leadership, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Music, Purpose, Sanctification & Defilement, Society, The Power of God, Vetting Women. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Kumbaya

  1. Sharkly says:

    FYI, the phrase is “Come By Here”. Pronounced “Coom By Hee-ah”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. feeriker says:

    Jack, your inclusion of the Pete Seeger video serves as another piece of evidence for why this song is so despised by so many. Seeger’s openly Marxist leanings (he even sang Stalin’s praises) gave American folk music a very bad name among much of the population, and Kumbaya is inextricably linked with Seeger and the rest of his generation of folk artists (e.g., The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul, and Mary), none of whose works have aged well. Indeed, listening to any of it today provokes a fingernails-on-a-chalkboard reaction.


    • Jack says:

      “XLVI. The human understanding, when any proposition has been once laid down (either from general admission and belief, or from the pleasure it affords), forces everything else to add fresh support and confirmation; and although most cogent and abundant instances may exist to the contrary, yet either does not observe or despises them, or gets rid of and rejects them by some distinction, with violent and injurious prejudice, rather than sacrifice the authority of its first conclusions.”

      “XLVII. The human understanding is most excited by that which strikes and enters the mind at once and suddenly, and by which the imagination is immediately filled and inflated. It then begins almost imperceptibly to conceive and suppose that everything is similar to the few objects which have taken possession of the mind, while it is very slow and unfit for the transition to the remote and heterogeneous instances by which axioms are tried as by fire, unless the office be imposed upon it by severe regulations and a powerful authority.”

      “XLIX. The human understanding resembles not a dry light, but admits a tincture of the will and passions, which generate their own system accordingly; for man always believes more readily that which he prefers. He, therefore, rejects difficulties for want of patience in investigation; sobriety, because it limits his hope; the depths of nature, from superstition; the light of experiment, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should appear to be occupied with common and varying objects; paradoxes, from a fear of the opinion of the vulgar; in short, his feelings imbue and corrupt his understanding in innumerable and sometimes imperceptible ways.

      “L. But by far the greatest impediment and aberration of the human understanding proceeds from the dullness, incompetence, and errors of the senses; since whatever strikes the senses preponderates over everything, however superior, which does not immediately strike them. Hence contemplation mostly ceases with sight, and a very scanty, or perhaps no regard is paid to invisible objects. The entire operation, therefore, of spirits enclosed in tangible bodies is concealed, and escapes us.

      “LII. Such are the idols of the tribe, which arise either from the uniformity of the constitution of man’s spirit, or its prejudices, or its limited faculties or restless agitation, or from the interference of the passions, or the incompetence of the senses, or the mode of their impressions.”

      ~ Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (PDF) [emphasis mine]

      A lot of people will reject the truth simply because they don’t like the package it comes in. But it is still the truth.

      A lot of people will reject Christ and the Gospel because it involves suffering and sacrifice. But Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

      A lot of people will reject Headship and Patriarchy because it is unpopular with women and difficult to establish. But this is the only way to achieve sanctification and glorify God in marriage.

      A lot of people will reject the Red Pill because some of the basic concepts came out of the lewd and detestable PUA industry. But AWALT. Ignore it at your own peril.

      A lot of people will reject the main point of this post (the importance of humility, worship, passion, and music in a small group setting) because they snigger at Kumbaya, or because they despise Hippies, Boomers, and/or their music and political stances. But a spirit of humility and worship will always be central to human flourishing, and one will miss out on the most memorable moments of life — and love itself — if one rejects this.

      Music is definitely one thing the Silents and Boomers did well and got right — because they appreciated this aspect of music. All Classic Rock artists cite folk music as their major influence, which is telling. That’s why we’re still listening to some classic rock tunes after 40 odd years, while a lot of newer music has since faded away. Many members of the younger generations even prefer classic rock, although they can’t relate to the folk genre.


  3. Jack says:

    I wrote something in the post that I’ll unpack a little more.

    “Lately, this spirit of worship has fallen out of fashion within the music industry, and this is the main reason why a lot of modern music is trash, and also why most music doesn’t stand the test of time.”

    The music that appeals to the heart and soul, to the living passions of the day, hardly ever ages well. This is because humility, passion, and worship is something that must be experienced in the present moment to be fully appreciated.

    I’ll draw a comparison here to illustrate my point.

    Music that is angsty, cynical, political, romantic, and sexual in nature continues to be popular for decades — because these themes endure. This is why music companies rearrange, remix, remaster and rerelease 50+ year old soundtracks from time to time (e.g. the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, U2).

    Whereas, music that relies solely on humble folk-style passion and cultural inspiration will become severely démodé after a few years at most. For example, The Kingston Trio (19 top 100 albums, 14 top 10 albums, and 5 number one albums), Herb Alpert (14 platinum albums and 15 gold albums), and Styx (four straight triple-platinum albums), were red hot bands of their time. But we never hear these artists anymore because their songs are now revered by their generation and according to their generation. IOW, they’re dated out the wazoo. The particular nerve they struck in their day and age is no longer sensitive. The songs themselves might be covered by a newer band, but the passionate vibe they aroused in their generation can never be remixed and fed to a younger generation. They were a phenomenon unique to their time precisely because they appealed specifically to the then-current mood and tone that was present in society.

    Artists like Bob Dylan and Tom Petty were among the select few artists that could straddle this fence between authentic humility and political cynicism/sexuality, respectively.


  4. Pingback: 2021 Winter Hibernation | Σ Frame

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