One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

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"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe"
Nursery rhyme
Published 1805

"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" is a popular English language nursery rhyme and counting-out rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 11284.

Lyrics[edit]

A common version (from The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes)[edit]

One, two,
Buckle my shoe;
Three, four,
Knock at 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 in waiting
Nineteen, twenty,
My plate is empty.[1]

Other versions[edit]

Some sources give differing lyrics.[2]

Origins and meaning[edit]

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.[1]

A version published five years later in Gammer Gurton's Garland (1810) had the following different lines:

Three, four, Lay down lower ...
Eleven twelve, Who will delve...
Fifteen, sixteen, Maids a-kissing...
Nineteen, twenty, My Belly's empty.[1]

According to Henry Bolton, collector of counting rhymes in the 1880s, the rhyme was used in Wrentham, Massachusetts as early as 1780.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 333-4.
  2. ^ Elizabeth M. Knowles (1999). The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Oxford University Press. p. 550. ISBN 978-0-19-860173-9.