The counting room is a genre of oral folk art. It originated in ancient times. In those days, many types of work were not only very difficult, but also extremely life-threatening. But someone still had to do this dangerous work. Whom to appoint? Who will do this dangerous job? It was then that they came up with a way of distributing work - a counting rhyme.
The counting-book was used in real life, and therefore it is not an independent literary genre, but an applied one, since it has a practical life task - to help distribute work.
Later, when human life changed, the counting rhyme turned into a child's game and began to help children distribute roles in the game so that everyone would have fun and no one was offended. Changing the role of the counting rhyme has led to the emergence of new counting rhymes, which we all know from childhood.
A child who knows a lot (especially full versions) of counting rhymes can cause both envy and respect ("authority") among peers. Some children may deliberately demonstrate (the desire to show off) their "knowledge".
The most famous:
They sat on the golden porch
King, prince, shoemaker, tailor, who will you be?
Speak quickly, Do not delay honest and kind people!
A month came out of the fog
He took a knife out of his pocket, I will cut, I will beat, You still drive.
Eni, Beni, Riki, Taki, Turba, Urba, Sintibryaki, Eus, Beus, Krasnobeus, Bam!
And this mascot counting rhyme in Russian is the oldest symbol of happiness and good luck:
Ladybug, fly to heaven, Bring me some bread.
Black and white, Only not burnt.
Ladybug, fly to heaven, There your children eat candy, One at a time, And you have none.
And at the same time in England:
Lady-bug, lady-bug, fly away home, your house is on fire, your children's alone ...
(Ladybug, fly to the sky
Your house is on fire, your children are alone ...)
Hooligan counting rhyme:
In our small company
Someone fired a lot.
One two Three-
It will surely be you.
Rafiki's song from the cartoon "The Lion King" (1994) Ashante sana, squash banana - children's counting room from Africa
Now I suggest you count to ten. More precisely, count from ten to one. And, to be more precise - that recall the famous rhyme from the novel by Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians" (Ten Little Niggers) By the way, you know that because of political correctness one time this novel was published under the title "And Then There Were None" (And Then There Were None). And even the counting room has been redone. Instead of "Ten Little Niggers" was "Ten Little Soldier".
And we will remember this counting ritual exactly the same to which everyone is accustomed. Let me remind you that this counting song is not at all folk, as many believe, but was written by Frank Green in the late 60s of the 19th century.
Shortly before her appearance in England, another song was published. It was written by the American Septimus Winner and it was called Ten little Injuns. Green, in turn, wrote an imitation of Winner's song, and it quickly spread across the music halls and other similar places of entertainment. Votoni, counting rhymes:
Ten little nigger boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self, and then there were nine.
Nine little nigger boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself, and then there were eight.
Kight little nigger boys travelling in Devon;
One said he´d stay there, and then there were seven.
Seven little nigger boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in half, and then there were six.
Six little nigger boys playing with a hive;
A bumble-bee stung one, and then there were five.
Five little nigger boys going in for law;
One got in chancery, and then there were four.
Four little nigger boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one, and then there were three.
Three little nigger boys walking in the Zoo;
A big bear hugged one, and then there were two.
Two little nigger boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up, and then there was one.
One little nigger boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were None.
Ten little indians decided to have dinner, One suddenly choked - there were nine of them left.
Nine little indians, having eaten, nodded, One could not wake up - there were eight of them left.
Eight little Indians left for Devon after a while, One did not return - they remained in seven.
Seven little indians were chopping wood together, One hacked himself - and six of them remained.
Six Little Indians went to the apiary walk, One bumblebee stung - they have five.
Five Little Indians committed the judging, to sue one of their four remaining.
Four negritonka went swimming in the sea, one was caught on bait - three of them left.
Three little indians in the menagerie ended up, One was grabbed by a bear - and the two were left alone.
Two little indians lay down in the sun, One burned out - and here is one, unhappy, lonely.
The last negro looked wearily, went to hang himself, and no one was.
And here at the counting room
Eniki, beniki ate dumplings, Eniki, beniki ate dumplings, Eniki, beniki, hop!
Green syrup came out.
the origin story is generally mysterious. Back in the late 1970s, the linguist V.E. Eagle pointed out the similarity of the "Enik-Benik" with the beginnings of the German "Enige benige" counting rhymes, inherited from the Middle Ages. German knights recited similar texts when playing dice. According to the linguist, the origin goes back to the Middle High German phrase "Einec beinec doppelte", which means "The only bone has doubled." From the German Landsknechts, the "Eniki-Beniki" migrated to neighboring Poland, and later moved further to the east.