One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
|"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe"|
Common modern versions include:
- One, two,
- Buckle my shoe;
- Three, four,
- Open the door;
- Five, six,
- Pick up sticks;
- Seven, eight,
- Lay them straight:
- Nine, ten,
- A big, fat hen;
- Eleven, twelve,
- Dig and delve;
- Thirteen, fourteen,
- Maids a-courting;
- Fifteen, sixteen,
- Maids in the kitchen;
- Seventeen, eighteen,
- Maids a-waiting
- Nineteen, twenty,
- My plate's empty.
Origins and meaning
The rhyme is one of many counting-out rhymes. It was first recorded in Songs for the Nursery, published in London in 1805. This version differed beyond the number twelve, with the lyrics:
- Thirteen, fourteen, draw the curtain,
- Fifteen sixteen, the maid's in the kitchen,
- Seventeen, eighteen, she's in waiting,
- Nineteen, twenty, my stomach's empty.
A version published five years later in Gammer Gurton's Garland (1810) had the different lines:
- Three, four, Lay down lower ...
- Eleven twelve, Who will delve...
- Fifteen, sixteen, Maidsa-kissing...
- Nineteen, twenty, My Belly's empty.
According to Henry Bolton, collector of counting rhymes in the 1880s, the rhyme was used in Wrentham, Massachusetts as early as 1780.
References in popular culture
|This Section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2014)|
A 1940 Agatha Christie novel used the rhyme in its title and story structure. A form of this nursery rhyme appears in several of the A Nightmare on Elm Street (from 1984) movies being chanted by children. It is also sung in the 1942 Looney Tunes propaganda cartoon "The Ducktators" to mock Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito.
- I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 333-4.