One, Two, Three, Four, Five
|"One, two, three, four, five"|
Common modern versions include:
- One, two, three, four, five,
- Once I caught a fish alive,
- Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
- Then I let it go again.
- Why did you let it go?
- Because it bit my finger so.
- Which finger did it bite?
- This little finger on my right.
Origins and meaning
The rhyme is one of many counting-out rhymes. It was first recorded in Mother Goose's Melody around 1765. Like most versions until the late nineteenth century, it had only the first stanza, and dealt with a hare not a fish, with the words:
- One, two, three, Four and five,
- I caught a hare alive;
- Six, seven, eight, Nine and ten,
- I let him go again.
The modern version is derived from three variations collected by Henry Bolton in the 1880s from America.