Everyone has heard this at least once in their childhood, if they lived in an English speaking country. There might be version for different language and culture, though I can’t confirm that. The myth is that the Druids used it to decide who to sacrifice and it was some kind of counting system in the Anglo-Saxon, Celtic or Welsh language. Thought the latter is not proven but the first one has been considered real for a longtime.
The first ever time this rhyme ever appeared was in 1855, but it dates back far long before that. At that time the words were different from the present ones, for example it was “Hanna,mana,mona, mike”. It follows the same trend, three words starting with m and one with another.
In 1898, a London newspaper wrote a bunch of articles about a gang known as “Hooley’s Gang”, they would call themselves Hooligans. Strangely, the word appeared in San Francisco and New York at the same time. But no one ever named Hooley was found, it was presumed that Hooley was an Irish reference for Rowdy, Wild.
Other sources claim the word originated from another criminal named Patrick Hoolihan. He was a bouncer and a thief in London, borough of Southwark. Few other theories claim that it was an Irish family in the borough of Southwark, they were known as the Hoolihans and were very wild. And the other other theories suggest just that the word houlie, Irish, is the meaning of wild and hooligan comes from that.
In pious New England which was during the 1880s, the church were furious with local shops selling ice creams in Sundays. Which was suppose to be the lord’s day, the enjoyments overshadowed the lord’s pain that we were to suppose. The church banned the treat for sundays. So sellers, decided to keep everything same from the ice cream but just change the name.. to sunday. The name was a marketing scheme which referred to Sunday the lord’s day but not the lord’s name. So since then the treat caught on and became popular.
Though at the time the two treats had no difference other than the name, now they do. Sundae’s are like a cocktail, just the cream and toppings, no cone unlike the Ice Cream, which is often in a cone.