Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

“Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” also known as “Eena, meena, mina, mo” is a popular counting rhyme and singing game.

It is very hard to establish the exact origin of the song as it has so many accepted forms, in different languages and countries. Whilst there are versions of the first line of this rhyme in both German and Cornish, the two middle lines, it is agreed, undoubtedly originated from America. “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” is part of a large collection of Counting-out rhymes, used in playground games, since the early 19th century.

The rhyme is used to choose who is ‘it’ in children’s games.

“Eeny, Meeny” Singing Game

How to play:

The song is made up from a number of syllables, (the counting out rhyme). It starts with a group of nonsense syllables and ends with a phrase that will indicate the game’s goal. Each syllable counts a child from a circle, and the game round finishes with the last kid pointed out.

Bellow are the lyrics of one of the accepted modern versions of the “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” rhyme and also an older version. You can replace “catch a tiger” with any word (catch a boy, catch girl, etc) or any animal,  or when singing to baby you can say “catch a baby”.

“Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe” Lyrics

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
Catch a tiger by the toe
If he hollers let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
My mother told me
To pick the very best one
And you are [not] it.

“Eena, meena, mina, mo” Older Version

Eena, meena, mina, mo,
Catch a mouse by the toe;
If he squeals let him go,
Eeena, meena, mina, mo.

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