Nursery Rhymes

One two buckle my shoe - aka "1, 2 buckle my shoe"

A Origins of the lyrics to "One two buckle my shoe" rhyme
We thought that these nursery rhyme lyrics have no traceable connection with any events in history. And believed that there is no historical or political association to one two buckle my shoe. Our conclusion was that the nursery rhyme had been devised as a pleasurable and fun way to teach children how to count using one two buckle my shoe and its different imagery to fire a child's imagination. Our grateful thanks therefore go to Adrian Lloyd for providing the following fascinating information about 'One, two buckle my shoe'. David wrote, "I have have always understood it to be partly about lacemaking and partly about other ‘working’ class roles from the 16th, 17th or 18th century.

  • One, two, buckle my shoe: refers to the lacemaker, or anyone else, getting ready in the morning for work.

  • Three, four, shut the door: the lacemaker (or other) closed the door to the shop (or their own front door behind them) to begin work for the day

  • Five, six, pick up sticks: the sticks are wooden pins used on a lacemaking ‘machine’

  • Seven, eight, lay them straight: the pins are placed on the machine to go straight across the fabric from side to side

  • Nine, ten, a big fat hen: which is a type of ‘pillow’ that supports and holds the lacework
  • From 11 and 12 refers to the gardeners and from 13 & 14 maids in waiting to a large house or estate and so on up to 19 and 20 being served dinner by the kitchen staff with plates empty!


One two buckle my shoe poem

One two buckle my shoe
Three, four, knock at 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 in waiting
Nineteen, twenty, my plate's empty

One two buckle my shoe poem

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Note: A Rhymes lyrics and the perceived origins of some Nursery Rhymes vary according to location

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