From the Laudator:
More on the Etymology of Kumbaya
Eric Thomson writes:
I found Michael Cervesarius’ Isidorian conjecture on the etymology of Kumbaya (LTA, May 31st) wholly convincing. Now I know why I need a drink every time I overhear the song. Johannes Goropius Becanus, of course, would argue that you could go still further back in time, Greek ‘kumbíon’ being itself merely a corrupt form of a much older and simpler lexeme. ‘Kom’ in Dutch means ‘bowl, basin’ and Dutch, as we all know and he conclusively proved, was the language of Paradise. Could Adam and Eve have been expelled from the Garden of Eden for singing (or even humming) Kumbaya? Perhaps not for that alone, but it would definitely have aggravated the original sin.