One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

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One, two,
Buckle my shoe;
Three, four,
Knock at the door;
Five, six,
Pick up sticks;
Seven, eight,
Lay them straight;
Nine, ten,
A good, 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.

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Information About One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" is one of many different variants of a counting-out rhyme. The song was recorded in London's 'Songs for The Nursery' in 1805. A slightly different version was published in 'Grammer Gurton's Garland' in 1810.

It is believed that this, and other counting songs, may have been created as a fun way to teach children how to count. Looked at another way, the song may be describing the process a lace maker or other tradesman went through on a daily basis.

The song has been used multiple times in pop culture. It was featured in the title of an Agatha Christie novel in 1940 and used in a Looney Tunes cartoon in 1942. More recently, a variation of the song was used in the movie A Nightmare on Elm Street.

One way to add movement to this song is to act out each of the lines. The singers can buckle their shoes, pick-up sticks and so on. To add a second layer of creativity, have children come up with their own actions to the lines. It is amazing to see how many ways "a good, fat hen" can be put into action.

For more information about "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe", reference the rhyme's Wikipedia page.

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

This version only goes up to ten

One, two, buckle my shoe
Three, four open the door
Five, six, pick up the sticks
Seven, eight, now lay them straight
Nine, ten, do it again,
Do it again, do it again
One, two buckle my shoe
Let’s do it all again

A version with some different lyrics

One, two, buckle my shoe,
Three, four, open the door,
Five, six, pick up sticks,
Seven, eight, lay them straight
Nine, ten, the big fat hen,
Eleven, twelve, dig and delve,
Thirteen, fourteen, maids a-courting.
Fifteen, sixteen, maids in the kitchen,
Seventeen, eighteen, ladies waiting,
Nineteen, twenty, my plate's empty.

Listen to this song's music


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Evie, Afghanistan

15 December 2012 at 6:54pm

So funny!

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Brandy, Afghanistan

12 November 2010 at 6:52pm

So funny!

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Lorie, Nueva Ecija

27 May 2010 at 4:30am

Pahintu-hinto ung video

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Jeanne, Memphis, Tennesse

9 April 2010 at 3:07am

Hmmm, I learned this one with the lyrics "three, four, shut the door" and "nine, ten, a big, fat hen; eleven, twelve, who will delve" although we usually stopped at 'nine, ten'.

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