It is one of a large group of similar rhymes in which the child who is pointed to by the chanter on the last syllable is either "chosen" or "counted out". The rhyme Dodi D (m) - Stockhausen* - Momente existed in various forms since well before  and is common in many languages with similar-sounding nonsense syllables.
Since many The Front End - Eeny Meeny counting rhymes existed earlier, it is difficult to ascertain this rhyme's exact original. A common modern version is: . There are many common variations, such as replacing tiger with "piggy", "tinker", " Tigger ", a two-syllable name, etc.
Sometimes additional lines are added at the end of the rhyme to draw out or manipulate the selection process or make it seem less predetermined, such as:.
The first record of a similar rhyme, called the "Hana, man," is from aboutwhen children in New York City are said to have repeated the rhyme:. Henry Carrington Bolton discovered this version to be in the Amazing Grace - The Band Of The Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards And The Royal Scots Dragoon Guar, Ireland and Scotland in the s but was unknown in England until later in the century.
More recognizable as a variation, which even includes the 'toe' and 'olla' from Kipling's version, is:. This was one of many variants of "counting out rhymes" collected by Bolton in A Cornish version collected in runs:. The Front End - Eeny Meeny theory about the origins of the rhyme is that it is descended from Old English or Welsh counting, similar to the old Shepherd's count " Yan Tan Tethera " or the Cornish "Eena, mena, mona, mite".
Another possibility is that British colonials returning from India introduced a doggerel version of an Indian children's rhyme used in the game of carom billiards :. Another possible origin is from a Swahili poem brought to the Americas by enslaved Africans: Iino ya mmiini maiini mo.
Most likely the origin is a centuries-old, possibly Old Saxon diviner rhyme, as was shown in by the Dutch philologist dr. Jan Naarding, supported by prof. South Rampart Street Parade - Leroy Anthony And His Orchestra - Leroy Anthony And His Orchestra published their findings in an article called Een oud wichellied en zijn verwanten An old diviner rhyme and its relatives.
Wanink, stands close to an early mediaeval or even older archetype. That same version was recorded in in Goor in Twente by Nynke van Hichtum :.
Naarding calls its origin 'a heathen priest song, that begs the highest goddess for an oracle while divining, an oracle that may decide about life and death of a human'. Some American versions of this rhyme use the racial slur " nigger " instead of " tiger ":. This version was similar to that reported by Henry Carrington Bolton as the most common version among American schoolchildren in Iona and Peter Opie pointed out in The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes that the word "nigger" was The Front End - Eeny Meeny in American folk-lore, but unknown in any English traditional rhyme or proverb.
The 'olla' and 'toe' are found as nonsense words in some nineteenth century versions of the rhyme. There are considerable variations in the lyrics of the rhyme, including from early twentieth century in The Front End - Eeny Meeny United States of America:.
A version also exists in Dutch als referred in Iene miene mutte :. There are many scenes in books, films, plays, cartoons and video games in which a variant of "Eeny meeny Notably, the rhyme has been used by killers to choose victims in the films Pulp Fiction and Natural Born Killers  the film Elephant and the sixth-season finale of the AMC television series The Walking Dead.
In Let the Tiger Goa documentary The Front End - Eeny Meeny tiger conservation released on YouTube inthe poem is read by Alan Rabinowitz in advocacy for ending the poaching of tigers for their body parts. The vinyl release of Radiohead 's album OK Computer uses the words "eeny meeny miny moe" rather than letter or numbers on the labels of Sides A, B, C and D respectively.
Eenie Meenie Records is a Los Angeles-based music record label. First appearing in Oswald Rabbit cartoons, then in their own series. The rhyme appears towards the end of British black comedyKind Hearts and Coronets. The use of the word nigger was censored for the American market, being replaced by sailor. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Children's counting rhyme.
Move, Sing, Listen, Play. Alfred Music Publishing. Opie and P. Retrieved Bolton, H. Printworld,p. Remarks on a little-known Africanism. Ba Shiru6 1 Naarding en K. Heeroma, Een oud wichellied en zijn verwantenin: Driemaandelijkse Bladen, p. Online at the Twentse Taalbank. Online at Historiek titled: 'Iene miene mutte' komt voort uit oud Oostnederlands wichellied.
Fitzgibbon, Words and music, "Eeny, meeny, miny, mo" F. Haviland Publishing Co Only Us - Peter Gabriel - Us Kipling, R. Jones, G. Transaction Publishers. Milwaukee Sentinel. Southwest Airlines". The Guardian. The Star. Naisbitt, N. Naisbitt and D. Griffiths, OK Computer Continuum,p. Banned in the U. Hidden categories: Articles with short description. Namespaces Article Talk.
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