“African Counting Song”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1925 (Scarborough)
Keywords: foreignlanguage nonballad
Found in: US(Ap)

Description

"Ninni nonni simungi, Ninni nonni simungi, Ninni nonno sidubi sabadute simungi. Ninni nonni simungi, Ninni nonni simungi, Ninni nonno sidubi sabadute simungi."

Notes

Scarborough's informant claimed that this was a counting song from Africa, but if he gave either a translation or a reference to the *part* of Africa, Scarborough failed to record it.

I do note that there are five words. Given what it known about some African counting systems, this raises the possibility that they stand for "one," "two," "three," "four," and "many." But I frankly doubt the whole business. - RBW

References

  1. Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 19, "African Counting Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, ScaNF019