Does Anyone Know of a Greek Rhyme that’s Said to End a Fight?

Kitte asked me an interesting question about a Greek rhyme she heard at the Acropolis that helped to end a fight between two men.  Here’s what she wrote about it…

Hi Lisa,

I have a question that is about something I experienced in Athens in the mid 90’s and have wondered about ever since. I was a tourist visiting the Acropolis at the time. This was outside the ticket booths. I don’t speak Greek, so I have no idea the actual words of anything that took place, I only went by the body language. Two men, between maybe 50-60 years old were having a very loud disagreement, it was getting extremely heated and looked like it could have come to blows. They were both shouting louder and louder.

In about 10 seconds, a crowd of maybe 20-30 people surrounded the two men and started singing to them. It sounded like a nursery rhyme to me, rhyming verses with repeated words. But the most striking thing was the expressions everyone wore on their faces as they sang loudly in unison. They had smiles! Smiles like the kind you have when you sing a nursery rhyme to a child. It TOTALLY diffused the situation. It was like the crowd reminded the two men that they were behaving like little children, but in a loving way.

I had never seen anything like it and have never seen anything like it since. I would LOVE to know the words to the song they were singing, I have wondered ever since. It was an EXTREMELY effective way to totally diffuse the situation.

Do you know about this custom? Can you tell me more? The song, the tradition, anything you know would be awesome!

Thanks!
Kitte

Can anyone help us find this rhyme or let us know if this is some type of tradition in Greece? 

Thanks in advance!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 5:30 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Customs and Traditions, Greece, Greek, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions, Rhymes by Theme. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Does Anyone Know of a Greek Rhyme that’s Said to End a Fight?”

  1. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    Georgete wroteL

    I’m also looking for a kids song my yaya sang to me when i was in Greece. I don’t know how to spell it but in Greek it sounds like this if you know it please let me know?

    …duc didly de tu leganay ca ma topa drevanay. idk

    If that’s even close to the spelling but it sounds like that and it was the last song she sang me before she passed.

  2. Marie Johnson Says:

    I’m searching for the translation of a song my grandmother used to sing when we were children .It might be the same one heard I Athens. I remember some of the words. It started like this: “Chimby, Chimby toh na toh. Toh na toh toh peesoh. Poopeeyehnee keh evyeni …then I’m not sure. But the ending has a line about “psomee keh angoudi” which I beieve refers to bread and cucumber and then finishes with words that I think mean “who will be the fool or foolish one”. She used to have us sit around her with our fingers spread out on the table & she would “pick” at each of our fingers as she recited the song. Sort of like the english eenie meenie mynee moe.

  3. eleutheria Says:

    Georgete :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfXnH0Nd6tM

    Marie Johnson : Τσίμπι-τσίμπι

    Τσίμπι-τσίμπι τον αητό
    τον αητό το σταυρωτό
    που τσιμπούν οι ουρανοί
    και βγαίνουν οι αγγέλοι

    Μια γαβάθα πίτουρα
    ποιός θα φάει πιότερα
    για εσύ για εγώ
    για ο μπάρμπα πίτσικας

    Πίτσικας ελάλησε
    μαύρη ρόγα γυάλισε
    μαύρη και φαρμακερή
    αϊ μωρή κουτσή!
    here is yours … it’s called tsimpi tsimpi ton ato(aeto)

  4. Marie Johnson Says:

    Thank you so much for the rhyme. I’m going to see if one of the ladies in my Church can translate it for me.

  5. Lisa Says:

    Please share the translation if you get one Marie.

  6. MIKI780 Says:

    So I think it is something that you say to a child while moving your your wrist right and left (it looks like jaz hands but your palms are facing down). It is (if I am correct)
    Κου πε πεε (kou pe pe
    Κου πε πε (kou pe pee and it also is e and not i or y)
    And it goes on and on…
    Thisis something you say to a baby but you can say it ironicly to an adult basically telling him/het they are acting childlish.

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