Lucy Locket

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"Lucy Locket"
Nursery rhyme
Published 1842
Songwriter(s) Unknown

"Lucy Locket" is an English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19536.[1]


Common modern versions include:

Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
Kitty Fisher found it;
Not a penny was there in it,
Only ribbon round it.[2]

Another version

Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
Kitty Fisher found it;
Nothing in it, nothing in it,
But the binding round it.


The song shares its tune with "Yankee Doodle" which emerged in North America in the mid-eighteenth century, but it is not clear which set of lyrics emerged first.[3]

Origins and meaning[edit]

The rhyme was first recorded by James Orchard Halliwell in 1842, but there is evidence that it was popular in Britain and America at least in the early nineteenth century.[2] Various persons have been identified with Lucy Locket and Kitty Fisher. Halliwell suggested that they were "two celebrated courtesans of the time of Charles II", but no supportive evidence has been found.[2]

The name Lucy Locket was used by John Gay in Beggar's Opera (1728), but may have already been proverbial.[2] Kitty Fisher may have been Catherine Marie Fischer (d. 1767) a British courtesan who was the subject of three unfinished portraits by Joshua Reynolds and a number of songs, including an air recorded in Thompson's Country Dances (1760).[4]

Use in popular culture[edit]

The rhyme was used as a plot device in the Brad Thor novel Hidden Order (2013), ISBN 978-1476717104. The name "Kitty Fisher was changed to "Sally Fisher".

In the episode "Beefsquatch" of Bob's Burgers, when Gene is attempting to teach a classmate how to pop and lock, he "raps" the line "Lucy Lock-it lost her pop-it". [5]


  1. ^ "Roud Folksong Index S300002 Lucy Locket lost her pocket". Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. English Folk Dance and Song Society. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 279–80.
  3. ^ O. G. T. Sonneck, Report on "The Star-Spangled Banner", "Hail Columbia", "America", "Yankee Doodle" (Minerva, 2001), p. 116.
  4. ^ D. H. Fischer, Liberty and freedom (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 217.
  5. ^ "02x09 - Beefsquatch - Bob's Burgers Transcripts - Forever Dreaming".