One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the nursery rhyme. For the Agatha Christie novel, see One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (novel).
"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe"
Roud #11284
Written England
Published 1805
Form Nursery rhyme
Writer Traditional
Language English

"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.


A common version[1][edit]

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.

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, Maidsa-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]


  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.