Peace Songbook

Come by Here, Martin Luther King

Music by Kristin Lems, based on a traditional melody "Kumbaya", lyrics by Kristin Lems, based on lyrics by Martin Luther King with additional lyrics by Kristin Lems

©2006 Kleine Ding Music (BMI)

This song creates a mood and a sense of community with the audience.  Based on the folk melody. "Kumbaya," this tune is immediately familiar and works equally well as an opening or ending song.


Come by here Martin Luther King (3x)

Your words we sing (2x)

1.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness (3x)

Only light can do that (2x)

2. Hatred cannot drive out hatred (3x)

Only love can do that.

3.) Vengeance cannot heal our pain (3x)

Only justice can do that (2x)

4.) Come by Here Martin Luther King (3x)

Your words we sing

Your life we sing.

This is a wonderful opening or closing song to a program - if it is used as the opening song, it should be sung a cappela, simple and direct.  At the end, it can be sung a second time along with the audience.  

It is a "mood creater" in the sense that it gets people calmed down and contemplative and ready to engage.

I have never sung the song without having a very strong and positive reaction to it.  It is on my CD/book, "Imagine That:  Songs for Creative Teachers," published on Carolsdatter Productions label in 2006.  It has been shared with many teachers in particular.  Thank you for sharing the spirit and life of the man and the movement!

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All songs posted in the CMN Song Library are protected by copyright and are provided by the generosity of the owner/artist. You may perform songs you find here in classrooms and camps without the copyright owner’s permission. For all other performances, you must first obtain a performance license through BMI, SESAC or ASCAP or obtain the copyright owner’s express prior written permission.