This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Bad Hymns 5

Today's entry for the Eccles Bad Hymn Award is Kum Ba Yah, or, as it is known in Yorkshire, Ee Ba Gum. This is a negro spiritual, which somehow escaped from the Dawkins slave plantations and ended up as a hymn in happy-clappy churches. We had some trouble tracking down the authors, since they quite understandably wanted to remain Anonymous, but in the end we succeeded.

Kum ba yah authors

The authors of Kum ba yah

E: Welcome, Anonymous. Now, what exactly does "Kum ba yah" mean?

A: It means "Come by here," Eccles, and is a reference to Revelation 22:20, "Come, Lord Jesus."

E: I see, yes, it does sound a bit like "Come by here," spoken by a Yorkshireman with a mouthful of chip butties. Why not just write "Come by here?"

A: We wanted to make it more ethnic, you know. That way it doesn't sound so ridiculous when accompanied by guitars and drums.

E: I see we get exactly 30 repetitions of "Kum ba yah". What is it about the number 30? In the previous hymn we discussed, "Walk in the Light" is also repeated exactly 30 times.

A: Is it? Perhaps we'd better add another verse or two and claim the record?

E: Now, apart from "Kum ba yah," the words are very simple. We get "Someone’s laughing," "Someone’s crying," "Someone’s praying," and "Someone’s singing,"

A: Give us a day or two, and we could come up with some extra verses, then. "Someone's sneezing," "Someone's giggling," and "Someone's snoring?"

someone's yawning

Someone's yawning, Lord, Kum ba yah.

E: Yes, that wouldn't make the hymn any worse. Who is this "Someone," anyway?

A: Do you know, we never really discovered that! When we were writing the hymn we were distracted by some noises from next door. Our secretary, not being very bright, thought that our complaints, "Someone's laughing," and so on, were part of the hymn we were dictating to her.

E: Well, thank you very much, Anonymous. I am sure that "Someone's laughing" indeed!

someone's laughing

Someone's laughing, Lord, Kum ba yah.


  1. Someone's choking Lord....

    Someone's burning Lord....

    The possibilities are truly endless Lord....

  2. In the interests of political balance, there should perhaps be a photo of Ken Livingstone for the verse "Someone's crying, Lord, Wah Wah Wah".

  3. someone's cringing with embarrassment Lord! Make it STOP!