One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Cover of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Most people know One, Two, Buckle My Shoe up to the number 10. Here’s a well-known version…

One Two,
Buckle my shoe.
Three, Four,
Open the door.
Five, Six,
Pick up sticks.
Seven, Eight,
Lay them straight.
Nine, Ten
Do it again.

Some people know One, Two, Buckle My Shoe up to 20. Below is the version from Walter Crane’s The Buckle My Shoe Picture Book (1910). I’ve posted his illustrations after the rhyme…

One Two,
Buckle my shoe.
Three, Four,
Open the door.
Five, Six,
Pick up sticks.
Seven, Eight,
Lay them straight.
Nine, Ten,
A good fat Hen.

Eleven, Twelve,
Ring the Bell.
Thirteen, Fourteen,
Maids are courting.
Fifteen, Sixteen,
Maids in the Kitchen.
Seventeen, Eighteen,
Maids in waiting.
Nineteen, Twenty,
My plate is empty.

Buckle My Shoe Illustration

Here’s another version that goes up to 20, from A Gift for All Seasons, edited by Lawrence Lovechild (1847)…

One, two, buckle my shoe ;
Three, four, open the door ;
Five, six, pick up sticks ;
Seven, eight, lay them straight ;
Nine, ten, a good fat hen ;
Eleven, twelve, I hope you ‘re well ;
Thirteen, fourteen, draw the curtain ;
Fifteen, sixteen, the maid ‘s in the kitchen ;
Seventeen, eighteen, she ‘s in waiting ;
Nineteen, twenty, my plate is empty ;
Please, mamma, to give me some dinner.

The Counting-out Rhymes of Children by Henry Carrington Bolton gave this variation of the second part of this rhyme…

9, 10, a good fat hen,
11, 12, roast her well,
13, 14, boys a courtin’,
15, 16, girls a fixin’,
17, 18, maids a bakin’,
19, 20, weddings plenty.

Check out more versions of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe on my nursery rhyme site.

Please feel free to post any versions of this rhyme that you know in the comments below.

Mama Lisa

Coming next on the blog: Versions of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe that go past the number 20!

This article was posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 at 5:00 pm and is filed under American Kids Songs, Australia, British Children's Songs, Canada, Canadian Children's Songs, Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, England, English, English Children's Songs, English Nursery Rhymes, Games Around the World, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, United Kingdom, USA. 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.

6 Responses to “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”

  1. St├ęphane Says:

    Great ! Just what I was looking for ! And these illustrations are beautiful, many thanks for this article.

  2. Lisa Says:

    Elsa wrote to me:

    Dear Lisa,

    Enjoyed your website. I thought of Googling the “One, two, buckle my shoe” rhyme as I was picking up sticks (branches) outside in the yard this morning after a wind storm.

    To my surprise, all the sources I found online have a completely different line for “nineteen, twenty” than what I learned as a child. My mom’s version goes, “nineteen, twenty, we’ll all have plenty!” (which seems to relate to the “big fat hen” that goes with “nine, ten,” don’t you think?) My mom grew up in western Pennsylvania in the 1920s and her mother was from the same area, north of Pittsburgh.

    Anyway, thank you for a lovely website.

    Best regards,

    Elsa Peterson Obuchowski

    Thanks Elsa! I like your ending. It makes more sense than some of the others.

  3. joey Says:

    Just want to know a bit more about the history of this rhyme 1,2 buckle my shoe what is the magic of this story & what is the the bad or evil deed is there any conflict between characters & how was this resolved. who are the characters.
    thanks for your help looking forward for a reply!

  4. Lisa Yannucci Says:

    As far as I can tell, it’s just a counting rhyme. According to The Counting-Out Rhymes of Children by Henry Carrington Bolton, this rhyme has been ‘used in Wrentham, Massachusetts, as early as 1780’.”

    I’ll let you know if I find anything else. Does anyone else know anything about the origin of 1, 2, Buckle My Shoe?

  5. Amanda Says:

    This is rhyming at it’s worst. I was taught 1,2 buckle my shoe. 3,4 shut the door. 5,6 pick up stick. 7,8 lay the, straight. 9,10 a big fat hen. Seeing 11-20 proves someone gave up on rhyming that save for 5,6 was previouy there. I was just curious do to knowing hickory dickory doc goes to 12.

  6. Jason knapp Says:

    1 ,2, buckle your shoe.means get ready
    3,4, open the door.means open your heart and the door to heaven.
    5,6, pick up sticks 5+6=11
    7,8, lay them straight.11
    9,10, do it again…11:11
    11,12, dig and delve, find the truth unravel the mystery
    13,14, in courting, gods bride
    15,16, are you listening
    17,18, angels awaiting
    19,20, weddings plenty..chances over.if you didn’t get the invite you not going to.too late

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