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eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)

Bonnie Shaljean 02 Jul 06 - 04:45 PM
Fiona 02 Jul 06 - 01:15 PM
Andy Jackson 02 Jul 06 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,thurg 02 Jul 06 - 12:24 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Jul 06 - 12:23 PM
Azizi 02 Jul 06 - 10:06 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Jul 06 - 06:33 AM
Fiona 02 Jul 06 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Frug 01 Jul 06 - 06:02 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Jul 06 - 05:25 PM
Mo the caller 01 Jul 06 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,Cheryll UK 01 Jul 06 - 03:39 PM
Mark Cohen 21 Aug 04 - 09:39 PM
wysiwyg 21 Aug 04 - 03:16 PM
wysiwyg 21 Aug 04 - 03:08 PM
CapriUni 03 May 02 - 12:10 PM
IanC 03 May 02 - 04:18 AM
Lynn 02 May 02 - 11:03 PM
wysiwyg 02 May 02 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Nerd 02 May 02 - 03:50 PM
CapriUni 02 May 02 - 03:19 PM
Wyrd Sister 02 May 02 - 03:03 PM
weepiper 02 May 02 - 02:00 PM
wysiwyg 02 May 02 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Nerd 02 May 02 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Nerd 02 May 02 - 11:03 AM
wysiwyg 02 May 02 - 09:30 AM
Nerd 02 May 02 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,Firecat at college 02 May 02 - 07:07 AM
Mark Cohen 02 May 02 - 02:58 AM
Mark Cohen 02 May 02 - 02:52 AM
Nerd 02 May 02 - 02:44 AM
Bert 01 May 02 - 08:33 PM
Herga Kitty 01 May 02 - 05:00 PM
wysiwyg 01 May 02 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Phil A 01 May 02 - 03:57 PM
Wyrd Sister 01 May 02 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Nerd 01 May 02 - 03:23 PM
CapriUni 01 May 02 - 12:59 PM
IanC 01 May 02 - 12:39 PM
Sorcha 01 May 02 - 12:34 PM
greg stephens 01 May 02 - 12:24 PM
wysiwyg 01 May 02 - 11:37 AM
wysiwyg 01 May 02 - 11:32 AM
greg stephens 01 May 02 - 08:50 AM
masato sakurai 01 May 02 - 08:43 AM
greg stephens 01 May 02 - 07:34 AM
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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 04:45 PM

They seem to have moved from imaginary bogeyman-figures - like being tagged meant you were The Cootie (remember Cooties?) - to ones that are all too real.


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Fiona
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 01:15 PM

Hi Andy,

I wasn't trying to be coy but since it was clear what I meant (it had been used in the thread) and some folks find it VERY offensive it didn't seem necessary. I even thought twice about 'darky', but d**** wouldn't have made much sense would it?

Thinking of kids playing tag where you become 'it' when caught, has reminded me that I've heard primary school kids calling the tagged one 'Taliban', so they all shout 'Taliban' and run away. A few years ago, at the time those iceberg AIDS adverts were running on TV, being tagged became 'you've got AIDS'.

Kids can be so horrible (bless their little cotton socks)

fx


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 12:43 PM

We had a version as kids which I remember went:

ennie meanie makaraka rare oh
domino
halapackaa doodiaka
him pim flash

At the time we put it down to our Mum being Irish!

And as for that mystical N word.... my elder brother along with many others I'm sure, had a dog (a very dark shade of grey)called Nigger (aren't I brave I typed the whole word.
Come on get a grip here, life changes, things and words which are offensive now had no significance years ago and vice versa.
Vive la change but never lose respect for your fellow man!!!!!

Andy


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 12:24 PM

"my mother said that N----- was a bad wrd and that we should use 'darky' kind of hard to believe now."

Hard to believe, yes - but in another thread recently, an Englishman mentioned his father using "darky" as a neutral or polite term. I don't know how widespread this (mis)understanding was, but I can say that my (Canadian) grandmother, born around 1890, used that term to the end of her days, and she lived to the age of 103 - and would be quite indignant when my mother would chide her about it. (About using the term "darky" that is, not about living to 103). As far as she was concerned, there was nothing disrespectful in her use of the term; she was satisfied that she was free of racial prejudice, and was not one to speak without thinking - but also not one to be bullied in matters of diction or anything else. I am certain that there was nothing questionable about her attitudes (or lack of attitudes) regarding race, and that if the right person had talked to her about her use of the term "darky", she would have accepted that it could be insulting nowadays, and would have stopped using it. Not that it crept into the conversation much anyway.

I wonder if the great popularity of Stephen Foster songs spread the term "darky" around the English-speaking world or if it had an international life of its own?

(Sorry for the thread drift).


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 12:23 PM

Great post, Azizi - thanks! I'm glad to be reassured that these old rhymes are far from dying out.

Interesting point about "beestay"'s origins - I spelled it that way because Mark did so above, but I can also remember hearing it sung as "veestay". This was in California where there was/is a lot of Spanish spoken (I was saying Ay Caramba DECADES before Bart Simpson did) so you could well have a point. If you've got any links to some of the websites you mention, I for one would be quite interested in having a look.

Thanks again :-)


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 10:06 AM

Bonnie Shaljean,

You asked "Do kids these days still sing these rhymes? Or is it all computers & video games now?"

While I'm neither a playground supervisor or [any longer] a parent of young kids, I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night {sorry, that's an American joke which others may not get]...

For a number of years I have been collecting children's rhymes and I can state without reservation that children still do counting out rhymes, handclapping rhymes and other types of rhymes.

Besides a number of Mudcat threads, there are quite a few othre websites where people can post examples of rhymes. On some of these websites more than others, it appears that children and youth-as well as adults-post ecamples of rhymes. Imo, the Internet is helping to perserve examples of rhymes, and also is make individuals aware that there are versions of specific rhymes other than the one that a they know. In that regard, I believe that the Internet may influence changes in rhymes-as children may drop their version in favor of vrevise their version or add trhymeis helping to infulence spread er another one or add to their version of their rhyme. That's the folk process in action.

Internet threads such as this also provide an opportunity for folks to consider the origin, source materials, and meanings of specif children's rhymes-and the way that their performance activities may have changed over time or in different geographical areas, and/or among different populations.

WIth regard to the "beestay" example that you cited, I wonder if this rhyme has a Spanish language source and are the changes in some if its words as result of folk etymology?

For instance, was "beestay" originally "como la vista"?

???


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 06:33 AM

Our "clapping song" (don't think there was an "It" either - I seem to remember this as a jumprope rhyme) went:

I woke up Sunday morning
And looked upon the wall
The beetles and the bedbugs
Were having a game of ball
The score was six to nothing
The beetles were ahead
A bedbug hit a home run
And knocked me out of bed

I had to stop myself spelling it "beatles"...


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Fiona
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 05:37 AM

We had (Glasgow late fifties-early sixties)

eenie-meenie-miney-mo
catch a N----- by the toe
If he cries let him go
eenie-meenie-miney-mo

my mother said that N----- was a bad wrd and that we should use 'darky' kind of hard to believe now. Kids nowadays use 'spider' which works well with the rhyme.

The 'I went to a Chinese restaurant' one was a pat a cake clapping type song, I never heard it used for picking who was 'it'.

We had the 'one potato, two potato' song as well, counted out with closed fists held in front being bumped as opposed to the pointing finger.

fx


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: GUEST,Frug
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 06:02 PM

I remember this...........

You're a yeller lookin' teller lookin' tin squared copycutter juicy eyed herrin' picker half-starved cat.

Frank


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 05:25 PM

Lynn, thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou ? you've saved my one remaining brain cell from blowing itself out trying to remember the rest of that icka-backa-soda-cracker rhyme. We used it as a jump-rope chant (central California, 50's) and you had to jump out of the rope while it kept turning, on the same rhythmic beat that the next kid in line jumped in.   

I first picked up eeny-meeny from the bigger kids in my street when I was four. They used the N word, and I didn't know what it meant. When my mother heard me reciting it she told me that wasn't a nice word to use and that I should sing "tiger" instead. I subsequently heard the chant used both ways, so there were two versions floating around.

In the 60s we had a variant of that "beestay" rhyme-&-response (I never knew what a Beestay was either) which I first heard at a high school football rally and everyone thought was way cool. Ours started with

flea (flea)
fly (fly)
flea fly flew (ditto)
coomalata coomalata coomalata beestay
no no no no not the beestay

and ended in a sort of scat-rhythm: eee-biddlety-oaten-doaten-wahbat-skee-watten-tatten-SHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!

Kitty, we also had the same "one-potato-two-potato-three-potato-FOUR; five-potato-six-potato-seven-potato-MORE" and whoever was More was out, or It, or whatever. Interesting how such similar/identical things pop up on both sides of the Atlantic.

Do kids these days still sing these rhymes? Or is it all computers & video games now? Can any playground supervisors or parents of young kids shed any light?


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 04:18 PM

I'm with Wysiwyg on this one. I learnt it in the 40s with the N word, and thought nothing of it at the time. My daughter learnt it as tigger (not tiger), and didn't know it had ever been different. I couldn't teach it the old way, but tigger seems too forced, tiger has a completely different rythmn, so I'd leave it alone.
But I'm with Nerd as well, if it is passed on by people who have never know it any other way, then thats fine.


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: GUEST,Cheryll UK
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 03:39 PM

We had a second verse to enna meena etc
Enni Meeni macka racka
Rare ri dominacka
Chicka poppa lollipoppa
rum pum push

Rare ri reeta
chickapocka Lita
o - u - t spells OUT
with a jolly good clout!!


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 21 Aug 04 - 09:39 PM

Are those the hand signals that were used in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" when the huge crowd in India(?) was singing the five pitches that had been broadcast by the outworlders?

The numbers 1,2,3,4 that corresponded to eeny, meeny, miny, mo may have been in a pre-Celtic British language. Or not.

I remember a call-and-response song/game called "The Beestay" that I learned in the early 60's in Philadelphia. Each line is said/sung by person A and then repeated by person B. When person B says the "Oo" at the end of the last phrase, person A repeats "Oo" and their roles are then reversed. I have no idea what a Beestay is.

Oo (Oo)
Oo ah (Oo ah)
The Beestay (The Beestay)
[sung] Oh, no, no, no, not the Beestay (Oh, no, no, no, not the Beestay)
Eeny-meeny-dissaleeny-oo-ah-ah-maleeny-otcha-kotcha-kumarotcha-akawa-oo (Eeny-meeny-dissaleeny-oo-ah-ah-maleeny-otcha-kotcha-kumarotcha-akawa-oo)

Aloha,
Mark

(If I got any of it wrong, it's my sister's fault!)


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Aug 04 - 03:16 PM

The ORIGINAL ARTICLE quoted below includes illustrations I could not pull into Mudcat, and additional information.

~S~

The Kodály Method
by: MusicStaff.com Teacher Lounge Editor, Deborah Jeter   

Have you been looking for a method to focus on your student's singing voice?

If the answer to the question above is yes, then the Kodály Method is for you. Zoltan Kodaly developed a way of educating young children through the singing of the native mother tongue folk songs. Doesn't sound too different with just that being said, but the differences lie within the internal workings. The Kodaly Method uses a sequence for teaching music, that is child developmental. More on that later. Right now... allow me to introduce you to Zoltan Kodaly.

Kodály, Zoltán (born on December 16, 1882, in Kecskemét, Hungary and died, March 6, 1967, in Budapest), was a prominent composer and authority on Hungarian folk music. He was also important as an educator, not only of composers but also of teachers and, through his students, contributed heavily to the spread of musical education in Hungary. He was a chorister in his youth at Nagyszombat (now Trnava), Czech., where he wrote his first compositions. In 1902, he studied composition in Budapest. He toured his country in his first quest for folk-song sources in the year before his graduation from Budapest University with a thesis (1906) on the structure of Hungarian folk song. After studying for a short time in Paris with the composer-organist Charles Widor, he became teacher of theory and composition at the Budapest Academy of Music (1907-41).
(Reference: "Kodály, Zoltán" Britannica Online, Copyright © 1994-1998 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.)

What is the Kodály Method?

First off, let me say that in order to give a complete overview of the Kodály Method would take more than just this article to accomplish. I hope to give you enough information on the advantages of using the Kodály Method for teaching music, so that you will continue your learning through the resource books that I listed at the bottom of this article.

Rhythm symbols and syllables are utilized.

Hand signals are used to show tonal relationships.

Hand signs are used in order for the singer to "visualize" what the note or tone is doing. Is it going up? Is it going down? You see, when we play instruments, it is quite evident what pitches we are playing because we can see what our fingers are doing. We have this advantage because the instrument is outside of out body. However, with the singer, the instrument is inside. So, the use of hand signs, as shown below, can be very advantageous, especially to the "beginner". NOTE: These hand signs were not invented by Kodály, but rather incorporated by him because of the validity of their use.

The moveable "do" is practiced.

The moveable "do" system is utilized through the use of the "do" clef. The "do" clef is simply a sign that is placed whereever the tonic of each scale is. In other words, the beginning student need not be concerned that "g" is the starting pitch in G Major, until they are "ready" to have that information. It keeps things simpler for the beginner. G in G Major would simply be called "do". Using a fixed "do" system is always called middle C, "do".

The musical material emphasized is the mother-tongue folksong.

The mother tongue songs are the songs that are concentrated first. Mother tongue meaning, the child's native music or the music (folk songs) of his or her country.

The Kodály Method breaks down the learning of music into a series of concepts (or components); Then applies a sequential learning process to each one. This sequential learning process follows the natural developmental pattern used in learning a language, which is, aural, written, and then read.

Aural - oral - kinesthetic

Written - pictoral - abstract

Read - recognized


The First Concept:

Steady beat is the first concept taught in level one. Notice that I say "level" and not grade. Kodaly is a concept that is non-graded. This makes the teaching of the most fundamental concepts applicable even to "beginners" of music education in highschool and beyond. The sequence of the concepts stay the same, but the material used to teach these concepts are age appropriate and left up to the discretion of the teacher. A great deal of emphasis is placed on using the penta-tonic scale in the beginning. One of the great advantages of using the pentatonic scale is that the notes represent all of the intervals that are needed in singing in an extended range as the voice develops but will not put unnecessary strain on the inexperienced singer. Another wonderful advantage of singing pentatonic songs are because instruments are easily incorporated for improvisational purposes. Any tone played in a pentatonic scale will blend (or sound "right") with the singer's pentatonic song.

Solfege or "Curwen" handsigns are used as a way to visualize the pitches being sung.

The Kodaly Method was not invented by Kodaly, but is a system of music education which was evolved in the Hungarian schools under his inspiration and guidance.

The Musical Objectives of Kodaly musical training may be listed as to develop the ability of all children to:

Sing, play, and move from memory, a large number of traditional folksongs of the mother tongue.

Perform, listen to, and analyze the great art music of the world.

Achieve mastery of musical skills, such as musical reading and writing, singing and part-singing.

Improvise and compose, using their known musical vocabulary at each developmental level.

I have used the Kodaly Concept/Method/Philosophy ever since I was a student teacher. My cooperating teacher was a Kodaly Master so I had a wonderful start. Over the last twenty years, I have taught using Kodaly and Orff with a mixture of Dalcroze. In general, my students exhibit a tremendous increase in musicality when I use Kodaly's sequenced applications.

I hope you will take the time to investigate its possibilities with your own students. You may find students understanding and mastering musical concepts more quickly and singing more beautifully than you ever imagined.

Quote: If there is something to be gained and very little to lose, then by all means, TRY! - W. Clement Stone


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Aug 04 - 03:08 PM

Isn't Kodaly (pron. Ko-dah-ee?) one of the the systems that, among other things, teaches pitch by hand signals of the teacher?

~S~


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: CapriUni
Date: 03 May 02 - 12:10 PM

Lynn (or anyone), briefly, what is the Kolady method?


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: IanC
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:18 AM

I learned eeny meeny with "nigger" but, since that's not a word we used for black people round my way, I didn't know what it meant for long enough.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Lynn
Date: 02 May 02 - 11:03 PM

In Lois Choksy's book, "The Kodaly Method", I found a similar 'counting out' rhyme:

Icka backa soda cracka Icka backa boo Icka backa soda cracka Out goes you

I also learned "eeny meany" with 'tiger'. My neighbor sang it with the n-word. One of many things we couldn't agree on as kids!

Lynn


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 May 02 - 04:38 PM

Some folks say it that way. It just means "What You See Is What You Get"-- old computer term. I guess Wizziwig would be Fezziwig's cousin!

I'm liking that Yum-vee more and more though. But it already got changed once, so whaddaya gonna do? *G*

~Susan


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 02 May 02 - 03:50 PM

Yes, Yan tan Tethera is one of the weird-sounding counting systems I was referring to, and does occur in Lakeland. It is used both for sheep and for counting out.

WYSIWYG: is this pronounced wizzy-wig? sounds like Scrooge's old boss! :-)


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: CapriUni
Date: 02 May 02 - 03:19 PM

Re: the Druid counting out for sacrifice... I think Nerd is right -- that it's part of the "Make everything Celtic" phenomenon.

Though there is a longish entry on counting out rhymes in the Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend and there is a suggestion that the rhyme:

O-U-T spells
Out Goes He
Right in the middle
Of the deep blue sea!

refers to the Biblical story of Jonah being chosen for sacrifice by his fellow shipmates through the drawing of lots.

I think T, He, & Sea make good rhymes... after all, drawing straws (or marked stones) is not the same as counting out...


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 02 May 02 - 03:03 PM

I think yan, tan, tethera is 1-2-3 in Lakeland. There used to a cafe in Keswick with that name. And I don't believe I used an incorrect apostrophe in my last post - apologies to myself as representing those heartily annoyed by such things.


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: weepiper
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:00 PM

The counting out/choosing 'it' rhyme we used most often at primary school (East Lothian, early eighties) was

Ittle ottle, black bottle, ittle ottle out
If you want a piece and jam, you must walk on out.

We had 'Eeny meeny miney mo' with tigger not tiger (and squeals not hollers), again I had no idea it used to be nigger until I was much older. I do remember using the rhyme that Greg first asked about but I can't remember the first bit, just the 'icker acker dominacker rum pum push' bit. We also had 'Eenty teenty tether methera...' which went up to ten but I forget the rest...


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 May 02 - 12:52 PM

Nerd, it's "Your mileage may vary," or in other words, that's how it is for me, and it may be different for you.

I was kidding about the name change, tho YMMV would be pronounced Ymm-vee, and that IS tempting! *G*

~Susan


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 02 May 02 - 11:59 AM

By the way, the derivation from Celtic numbers is very speculative. No numbers in any Celtic language sound like eeny meeny miny mo, for example, though the number one sounds a bit like eeny, as it does in Spanish (Uno) and many other indo-European languages. There was a time when proving a "Celtic" heritage for any piece of folklore was fashionable, because (in England at least) it suggested that the the folklore in question was very old--a survival of before the Saxon conquest of Britain. Since the first folklorists were antiquarians, they were always claiming everything they recorded was an ancient fertility rite of Celtic or pre-Celtic times. People have even claimed that "eeny meeny miny moe" became a counting out rhyme when it was used by druids to select among prisoners for one to be sacrificed!

That said, there are various weird-sounding counting systems in England, for use both in counting-out among children, and counting sheep among shepherds. Some of them do have clear Celtic parallels, while for others scholars jump through hoops to try to fit them into a Celtic mold.


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 02 May 02 - 11:03 AM

Sorry, Susan. I don't know what YMMV means, which is probably why I didn't get your gist first time!


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 May 02 - 09:30 AM

Nerd, I was talking about how cultural messages in general tend to work, and how I feel about this rhyme now, not saying how others ought to feel.... there's nothing there really to disagree with. My feelings are just my feelings, and yours are yours. (As I said, "YMMV.")

That's part of the trickiness of dealing with internalized (and often unconscious) racism.... it is always a completely individual thing, and broad approaches tend to not address that.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Nerd
Date: 02 May 02 - 09:15 AM

Kenny Goldstein once wrote an article called "Strategy in counting-out" in which he showed that kids carefully picked and/or altered these rhymes to get the desired effect, making sure the people they wanted to stay in stayed in. So Firecat's experience seems to have been typical!

BTW, another good book to refer to is Roger Abrahams's "Counting-Out Rhymes: A Dictionary."


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: GUEST,Firecat at college
Date: 02 May 02 - 07:07 AM

I used to use that rhyme when I was at junior school!!

I knew it as:-

Eeny meeny macka racka Dare dare dominacka Chikka bokka lollipoppa Om pom push The black cat says it must be you!

The "black cat" was whoever was doing the rhyme and they shoved the unfortunate loser over. I always made sure I WASN'T the unlucky one!


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:58 AM

Oops, missed Phil A's post. But I'd still be interested in learning more details.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:52 AM

Somewhere I recall reading that words sounding like "Eeny meeny miny mo" were the actual counting numbers one through four in some language. And that the other rhyme was based on the numbers up to ten. I have a vague and probably incorrect memory that it was an ancient Scottish dialect. Anybody got any reliable information along this line?

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Nerd
Date: 02 May 02 - 02:44 AM

WYSIWYG--

I see what you mean, but I don't think I agree. I don't think that two versions of the "same" rhyme or song constitute a psychological gestalt so that all meanings of either are meanings of both. I feel that the one with the tiger refers to a large Eurasian cat, especially if the speaker and hearer are unaware of other versions that refer to a person of African descent.

Incidentally, folklorists (of which I am one) have made the same argument you put forth, calling it "the symbolic equivalence of allomotifs." It's very much a respected position on these matters and I'm not belittling it. I just don't happen to agree in this case.


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Bert
Date: 01 May 02 - 08:33 PM

I The East End of London it used as a dip, and went..

Immenacka ricker racka
Rare are dominacka
Chicka bocka
Bocka chicka
Om Pom Push.

And the person whom push landed on was unceremoniously pushed out of the ring.

OK. Spuds in!


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 May 02 - 05:00 PM

I'm with IanC on this one - we used eeny meeny and "one potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, four" in the late 50s as a way of choosing "it".

Kitty


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 May 02 - 04:00 PM

Just because I didn't hear it with the n-word in the 50's, in my own home, doesn't mean it wasn't being sung next door that way. When I found out about it later, it turned out that all my friends had heard it the other way. So there ya go. I was "lucky," I got to miss ONE of many cultural messages.

The point was, we all got them, one way or another. Even if we did not realize that's what they were at the time, or what they meant. They all glom up together in our unconscious. So I don't sing this one to babies now. The fun of it went out of it, for me, retroactively.

YMMV.

Hey, I think I'll change my name to YMMV.

~S~


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: GUEST,Phil A
Date: 01 May 02 - 03:57 PM

Also from North East England (50s 60s):

Eenie meeny mackeracka Dare-dum dominacker Ting-a-ling-a-lollipop Bing bang boosh.

Incidentally, 'eenie meeny myny mo' is one to four in one of the Celtic tongues ... 'hickory dickory dock' is eight nine ten.


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 01 May 02 - 03:49 PM

Eeny meeny miny mo

Sit the baby on the poh

When it's done wipe it's bum

Eeny meeny miny mo

Eenameena macaraca Airidackeraca Chickeraca boomeracka om pom push

Northern England, industrial, 1950's


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 01 May 02 - 03:23 PM

But, WYSIWYG, if you learned it as "Tiger" and never knew it had anything to do with the n-word, then your culture was not transmitting a racist message anymore. You weren't to know that another version of the same rhyme once used to be racist. The version you knew was perhaps insensitive to an endangered species, but not racist.

I grew up in upper Manhattan, where using the n-word would get you seriously f*cked up if not killed, but everyone knew the tiger rhyme, and none of us kids knew it had anything racist in it. When an older black man told us the original, we didn't believe it. Until he showed it to us in a book. Personally, I think "Tiger" is an improvement precisely because it isn't racist anymore (and because if you catch a tiger by the toe you will get what you deserve!)


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: CapriUni
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:59 PM

More contributions please, I want to know if it ever crossed the atlantic

Greg -- It did, sort of... the "Catch a Tiger/N______ (also, as I understand it, during WWII, it was "Catch old Mo Jo by the toe") that Susan posted above, is the version I learned here in America.


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: IanC
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:39 PM

No, Sorcha, not the Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.

BTW we used it as a counting rhyme just the same as eeny meeny miny mo and the taters game.

There are a few other threads about counting rhymes on the mudcat, with variants of this one in. I'm too lazy now to look for them.

Cheers! Ian


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:34 PM

Could it have been the "menemenetarkel......"whatever that the finger wrote on the wall? Book of Samuel?? Somewhere in the Bible.......


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 May 02 - 12:24 PM

We used eenie meenie minie mo (with "that word") as a counting out rhyme...the eena meena mackeracka as just a chant, a sort of secret rhyme you learnt and treasured. We never used itfor counting, though it sounds as if that's what it's for, with the emphasised POOSH at the end. More contributions pleas, I want to know ifit ever crossed the atlantic. Also, 'eenie meenie minie mo' sounds as if its linguistic origin must long predate the use of the word "nigger" in English.I wonder how it went originally?


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 May 02 - 11:37 AM

OK, I know I am not the only one thinking of this one from the US.... here is how I learned it:

Eenie meenie miney moe,
Catch a tiger by the toe.
If it hollers, let it go,
Eenie meenie miney moe.

So that's not the original version. People say "Hey! Don't call ME a racist! I don;t have any of THAT stuff in ME!" Yet the culture transmits racist messages even before we are old enough to know there is such a thing as "difference" between human beings (but not really) (but there is) (but we have more in common than we have different) (ad infinitum)

The version I heard later in life was not about a tiger; it used what is now known universally to be an ugly racial epithet, "nigger."

~Susan


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 May 02 - 11:32 AM

Now I know what to do with the silly words the Three Stooges would come up with-- put them in a counting song.

Annacannapannasan

Onnaconnapooner

Anyone else have any of these? Are they posted anywhere online?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 May 02 - 08:50 AM

wow, thanks Masato. Now, any personal memories? Where did YOU learn it? And how did it go?


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Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
From: masato sakurai
Date: 01 May 02 - 08:43 AM

There's a good collection: Roger D. Abrahams and Lois Rankin, eds., Counting-Out Rhymes: A Dictionary (University of Texas Press, 1980). I'll quote the entry (no. 120).

Eena meena macker racker
Rare, ro, domino,
Juliacker, alapacker,
Rom, Tom, tush.

Opie (1969) [Children's Games in Street and Playground], 40-41, 53 [Scotland, England, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, since 1920's]. Eighteen variants, beginning "Eeny, meeny," "Eeni, meeni," "Iney, memey," "Ina, mina," "Eany, meany," "Ena, mena," "Eanie, meenie," "Eani meani," "Eny, meeny," and "Eena, mena." Discussed in relation to other gibberish rhymes. The rhyme is sometimes introduced with "I went to a Chinese laundry / To buy a loaf of bread; / They wrapped it in a tablecloth / And this is what they said." Three embryo forms of the rhyme are given: "Ena dena, dahsa, doma" (1909); "Eener, deener, abber, dasher" (1910); and "Haberdasher, isher asher" (1916) (see 123).
Turner (1969), 11 [Melbourne, 1920, 1962]. Two variants: "Eena, meena, micka, macka" and "Eeny, meeny macka racka."
Daiken (1949), 2.
Ritchie (1965), 45 [Edinburgh]. Two variants.
Those Dusty Bluebells (1965), 22 [Ayrshire]. "Eenie meenie macaracha, / A M dominacha, / Cheek-a-pop-a, lolly-pop-a, / Am bam bush."
Fowke (1969), 111 [Canada]. "Eeny meeny macker racker, / Rear ride down the racker. / Chicka poppa lollipop, / A rum tum trash."

~Masato


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Subject: eena meena mackeracka
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 May 02 - 07:34 AM

Perhaps there's been a thread on this, but I couldnt find one. Is this known throughout Britain? Ireland? America? Anybody recall a different version? Mine goes( Devon c1952 at a guess) Eena meena mackeracka/Rare ri dominacka/chikkapoppa lollipoppa/ rom pom poosh.


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