Acka-backa, soda cracker

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Mon Jan 31 01:36:02 UTC 2005

On Jan 30, 2005, at 11:52 AM, Mark A. Mandel wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Mark A. Mandel" <mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Acka-backa, soda cracker
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Wilson Gray-vo':
>  I knew only the "Catch-a-Jap" version of Eenie Meenie. But, now that I
> see your version of it, Larr, I'm reminded that the version that I
> learned of Acka-Backa had, after the ethnic slur, a line:
> My mother told me to pick the very best one
> O-U-T spells out goes YOU!
> It's an interesting coincidence that two different chants both include
> a very similar line that kinda blows up the rhythm of each chant.
>  <<<
> If the rhythm were maintained it would be easier to predict in real
> time
> (or, as we used to say, on the fly) where the count would end up. ISTM
> that
> it's less predictable this way, and so a desirable characteristic (a
> "survival trait") in a counting-out verse.
> mark by hand

That is quite obvious, Mark. Well, at least it *became* quite obvious,
once you had pointed it out.;-)


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