View Full Version : playground song nonsense lyrics

04-01-2005, 03:07 PM
When I started grade school in the late '60s, there was a hand-clapping/slapping game that the girls did on the playground while singing nonsense lyrics. The lyrics went something like:

“Om i nama, cue mi nama
Cue mi nama feast day
Om i nama, cue mi nama
Cue mi nama feast day
Oh, no, no, no, no feast day
Oh, no, no, no, no feast day
Itsy bitsy teen weeny yellow polka dot bikini
Itsy bitsy teeny weeny I mean you!
Oh, no, no, no, no feast day
Oh, no, no, no, no feast day.”

(Considering that I went to Catholic school, that may have been where the words “feast day” came from.)
In 1989 a group called Guadalcanal Diary performed the song on the album Flip-Flip, with slightly different lyrics. They went something like:

Coo ma lotta, coo ma lotta
Coo ma lotta vista!
No, no, no lot of vista!
Eeny meeny ex a meeny
Ool all a lot of meeny
Ex ee meany zol a meeny
Doo wop a dop
Beep billy oop did dod a dip dop."

I have wondered if maybe these lyrics weren’t originally nonsense, that perhaps they were the bastardization of a language other than English. If that’s the case, what language is it, and what do the lyrics translate to?
I know you’re tempted to make a comment about (a) the 1960s, (b) Catholic school, or (c) children slapping each other on the playground, but first, they aren’t my question, and secondly, I’ve heard all the jokes about those three topics before.

04-01-2005, 03:57 PM
Here's a similar lyric in a Boy Scout camp song:


04-01-2005, 04:04 PM
There's some discussion of the song here:


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