Flea Fly Flo is an echo song. Every line the leader says is echoed by the group (or 2nd person).

Notes

Beth Kollman wrote:

"When I was a little girl my dad would sing this with my sister and I while we waited for our mom to get out of the store. We'd sing it
faster and faster. The words we used were :

Flea! (Flea!) flea fly!
(Flea fly!) flea fly flow!
Veesta coomalotta
coomalotta coomalotta veesta.
Oh no no not the veesta eeny meany yes
Uh meany ooh wanna wanna meany yes
Uh meany sola meany oooh wanna beat
Billy oaten boaten bo Bo to beaten botton shhh.

Haha. I sing it to my child now and with my friends and I'm now 25!! Wonderful memories."

*****

Noelle Schwartz wrote:

"This was my version:

Flee
Fleefly
Flee fly flo
Vista
Coomalata, coomalata, coomalata vista
Oh no oh no na vista
Eskamina sodamina dooa dooa da mina
Escamina sodamina dooa dooah
Escamina sodamina Bigga deeda little deeda badap skalidalota bodop ncshh"

*****

Dean wrote:

My version of the "flea" song from my childhood as I remember it...

Flea
Flea fly
Flea fly flo vista
Coomalata coomalata coomalata vista
Oh no no no la vista
Eanie meanie ex-meanie ooh wah a-wah meanie
Ex meanie salameanie ooh wah a wah
Be billy oaten doaten bo bo ba ditten dotten
Shhhhh

-Dean F Brown

*****
Elijah Michael wrote:

This is the version as I learned it from my theatre troupe:

Fe
(fe)
Fe Fi
(fe fi)
Fe Fi Fo
(fe fi fo)
Vista
(vista)
Coomah la coomah la coomah la vista
(coomah la coomah la coomah la vista)
Woah-oh-oh-oh-oh la vista
(woah-oh-oh-oh-oh la vista)
Eenie meenie desciminie oo wanna wanna beenie
(Eenie meenie desciminie oo wanna wanna beenie)
Rope skiddley opey dope, rope skiddley opey dope
(Rope skiddley opey dope, rope skiddley opey dope)
1 (2) 3 (4) 5 (6) 7 (8) 9 (10)

(Repeat, but faster)

*****
Melissa F. wrote:

Here is our version:

Flee, flee fly, flee fly flow
Vista!
Kumalotta kumalotta kuma la vista
No no no no no no vista
Eenie meenie dessameanie ooh wala wala
meenie exameanie solomeanie ooh wala wah
A bo bo squatten watten notten wotten chow
A beat Billie oten doten bo bo ba ditten dotten
Chhhhh

*****
Mikael Rittri wrote:

"My sister tought me this version, 1970-ish, Sweden:

Flee.
Flee fly.
Flee fly flow.
Vista.
Koomala, koomala, koomala, vista.
Aw, naw naw, naw naw, teh vista.
Vista.
Eeny meeny dessa leeny,
ooh ah, ammie leeny,
atchy catchy cowa ratchy,
OOH ah, ooh AH.
Ah itch bidden adden badden,
ooh boo, beh didden dadden,
wadden dadden TCH!

Not sure about the spelling though. I have been searching the Internet for the original words and their meaning (someone said "no te vista" is Spanish for "I didn't see you"), but I suppose it's a hopeless quest."

Regards,

Mikael Rittri
(Gothenburg, Sweden)

Mikael - It's my understanding that this is a nonsense rhyme. Though "eeny meeny" is a way we choose who's "It" in games. It's interesting that you learnt this song in Sweden because I see mention that "The song was recorded at Kristiansund, Norway, in 1973..." So it seems this song was sung in Scandinavian countries. Does anyone else know if there's any other meaning to this song? -Mama Lisa

*****

Roy Vincent Vanguardia wrote:

"This was our version here in Manila, Philippines.

I learned it from my scout masters in 1994..."

Flee
Flee, Fly
Flee, Fly, Flew
Vista!
Oh, no, no, not the vista!
Eenie meenie deciminee oova oova le meenie
Oova molen doten bobo minolen doten.

*****
Jim Page wrote, "We would do this cheer at the Boys Club Camp Ramsbottom..."

Flea
Flea fly
Flea fly flo vista
Coomalata coomalata coomalata vista
Oh no no no la vista
Eanie meanie desameanie ooh wah a-wah meanie
Eanie meanie desameanie ooh wah a wah
it in dit and oat and dote
bodoskadetten what da and chew
bip bap do wah do wah shhhhhhhhhhhh

*****

D. Savage wrote:

"Ours (from the 60's) went like this:

Fee!
Fee Fi!
Fee Fi Fo
Feast Day!

Comelonna comelonna comelonna
Feast Day
Oh no, no not the Feast day!

Enni minni dessa minni
Oo wahla wahla mini
Enni minni solla minni
Oo wahla wah!

Beat belly oaten doten
Boo boo bedeeten dotten
Faster...

And then sung over and over, faster and faster."

*****

Janis Shakespeare wrote, "I think I was about 10 when my childhood friend Ann taught me this rhyme and I am struggling to find where on earth it came from and what the words should actually be. These are the words she taught me, phonetically, (I was 10 in 1976)..."

Flea, Flea fly flea fly Flo,
Vistay,
Combalala Combalala Combalala Vistay,
Ah ah ah ah nahna Vistay
Inemeny decimini oo ah towanimini
Inemeny decimini oo ah towa
Bip Billy open dopen
Bo bo bobeaten boba shhhhhhhh

*****
"Frosty Mac" wrote:

"The version of this song I know was used as a warmup before theater rehearsals and plays in high school. It went as follows..."

Flee
Flee fly
Flee fly flo
La Vista
Coomalah, coomalah, coomalah vista
Oh, no no no, not the vista
Eecimeeny decimeeny, oo-ah-loo-ah lameeny
Skiddly-bop-bop-bop-bop skiddly at!

*****
Ted Udulutch sent this version:

Flea
Flea fly
Flea fly fo fum
Vista
Coombalah coombalah coombalah visa
On no no no no not da vista
Eanie meanie decimeanie ooh walla walla meanie
Eat billy yolk with a dote doten dot
Tshhhh!

*****
Emy wrote:

This was a Girl Scout campfire song when I was a scout leader for my daughter's troop. I've passed it along over the years, but as I was teaching it to my youngest granddaughter, I checked with my daughter, and she found your site. Here's the version we remember. It was an echo song for us, too.

Flee! (Echo)
Flee, Fly! (Echo)
Flee, Fly, Flow! (Echo)
Vista! (Echo)
Kumalata Kumalata Kumala Vista. (Echo)
Oh, no, no, no, not the vista! (Echo)
Vista! (Echo)
Eenie meany disobeenie ooh aah aah beninie. (Echo)
Eenie meany disobeenie ooh aah aah! (Echo)
Ish kabibilee oten boten bo bo ba ditten dotten watten totten shhhhhh! (Echo)

Thanks for the memories!

*****
This song can be found in "Midwestern Folklore" (Volumes 15-18), Department of English, Indiana State University, 1989. It can also be found in "Singing about it: Folk Song in Southern Indiana" by George List, Indiana University, Bloomington. Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana Historical Society, 1991. So it seems the song may originally come from Indiana.

It was also sung by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Many variations of this chant exist. Please send us your version!

Game Instructions

Clap both thighs, clap your hands,
Clap both thighs, clap your hands, etc...

Keep this action going until the end of the song.

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Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Beth Kollman, Noelle Schwartz, Dean F. Brown, Elijah Michael, Roy Vincent Vanguardia, Jim Page, D. Savage, Melissa F., Ted Udulutch, Emy and "Frosty Mac" for sending their versions of this song!