Does Anyone Know a Circle Game with the Lucy Locket Rhyme?

Jo wrote asking about a Lucy Locket Circle Game:


I remember the Rhyme…

Lucy Locket Lost her Pocket

Kitty Fisher found it

Not a Penny was there in it

But a ribbon round it.

But as a child I can remember playing a game where we recited this with one person walking round her friends seated in a circle on the ground- the rhyme went on longer and finished with ……. ‘one of you has picked it up and put it in your pocket’ – then ‘ it wasn’t you , it wasn’t you….. but it was YOU’ this last bit with the one walking round touching the heads of some seated – when she got to ‘it was you’, that person stood and the 2 chased round the circle . Does any one remember the game and the rest of the rhyme?


If anyone can help Jo, please comment below.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 at 4:29 pm and is filed under Circle Games, Countries & Cultures, England, English, English Nursery Rhymes, Games Around the World, Languages, Lucy Locket, Nursery Rhymes, Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

10 Responses to “Does Anyone Know a Circle Game with the Lucy Locket Rhyme?”

  1. Uly Says:

    Sounds like either she or the whole group of them had merged the game with Duck Duck Goose at one point.

    As I learned it in kindergarten, you sang the song while walking around, and dropped a napkin behind someone during. And then when you were done the person with the napkin had to chase you… or then again, maybe *I* am the one confusing this with a tisket, a tasket!

  2. Lisa Says:

    Uly – The type of game you’re describing is called “Mailman” in some places. It’s played all over the world.

    When I played Duck, Duck Goose, we’d tap each kid sitting in the circle on the head and when we got to “goose”, the one who was tapped as “Goose” would chase the one who was going around tapping everyone on the head. If the “goose” caught the tapper, he got to be the tapper. If not, the tapper would go around again.

  3. Lisa Says:

    Hi I was just looking for this game. I have vague memories of playing this game while at infants school in Devon, England in the mid 80’s. Reading your post has brought it all back. I remember sitting on the floor in a large circle in the playground while someone ran around behind up patting heads and we sang the rhyme. I couldn’t remember the ending or what happened but I know do recall being chanced round thr circle. Thanks so much.

  4. Jodi Craigen Says:

    Hi there,

    I play this game with my students (it has a song that goes with it too) in music class.

    It is a detective game where one child is the detective and leaves the room (or hides their eyes in a corner) and one child is given the pocket. All the kids hide their hands and it’s essentially a game of hot and cold. As the detective gets closer to the child who has the pocket, the children sing louder; the further away, the quieter. They get three guesses to guess who has the pocket.

    It is a great way to assess if they understand the difference between loud and quiet.

  5. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for sharing Jodi!

  6. Daniel Says:

    This game is detailed in the book “This Little Puffin…” compiled by Elizabeth Matterson. It says:

    I sent a letter to my love
    And on the way I dropped it;
    One of you has picked it up
    And put it in your pocket.

    All the children except one sit down in a ring. The odd one runs round the outside of the ring while the song is sung and drops a handkerchief behind one of the seated children. At the end of the verse both the odd child and the one who had the ‘letter’ dropped behind him run round the ring in opposite directions and try to sit down in the empty space. The one who loses the race has to be the odd one for the next time.
    Use the traditional tune.

  7. Ellen Says:

    That’s the one I was looking for. Thank you.
    I sent a letter to my love
    And on the way I dropped it;
    One of you has picked it up
    And put it in your pocket.

  8. Hilary Says:

    Fabulous! Thank you Daniel. Today I was trying to remember the opening words for that game that we also used to play here in New Zealand as kids and you’ve solved my dilemma. It was great fun.

  9. Penny Says:

    We used to sing:
    I wrote a letter to my mother
    on the way I dropped it.
    Someone must have picked it up
    and put it in their pocket.
    It wasn’t me and it wasn’t you
    It wasn’t Father Christmas
    It must have been a bunny rabbit
    eating chocolate biscuits.

  10. Lisa Says:

    I love that version Penny!

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