KumbayaI recently came across an article that used the word “Kumbaya” in a way I did not understand. I only knew it as the spiritual song that became popular in the 1960s and is now a staple of campfire sing-alongs everywhere.

The article was about the extension of the Highway Trust Fund with borrowed federal dollars rather than addressing the underlying problem of chronic underfunding. The quote was:

“The White House’s surprise endorsement on Monday of the Republican bill guaranteed the big 367–55 vote and probably assures the Senate will pass something close to it.  So Kumbaya, as they say on K Street.”

K Street in Washington, D.C. is the home of numerous think tanks, lobbyists, and advocacy groups. “Kum ba ya” is “come by here” in Gullah, the slave-language of the South Carolina–Georgia coast.  In the song, it was an appeal to a deity for help, but has since become slang for anything naively or hypocritically optimistic.

No wonder it is a popular expression on K Street.


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
This entry was posted in Popular culture and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.