History of Buckle My Shoe

Buckle My Shoe is an English language nursery rhyme. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe was first published in 1805 in London. This particular historical piece of writing is a counting-out rhyme. Counting out rhymes can feature nonsense word patterns that rhyme with numbers. These patterns catch the attention of children by the way they sound, but are are often meaningless in content as with “Eeny, meeny, miny mo.

Buckle My Shoe is listed in the Roud Folk Song Index, which is a database of numerous songs that have been collected around the world. This famous piece of literature is listed as number 11284 in the index of over 20,000 songs. It was recorded for the first time in the year of 1805. Throughout the years, the lyrics have undergone changes. The most common version of the poem reads, “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.” Other versions of the song/poem change after the number twelve. The changes made include, “Thirteen, fourteen, draw the curtain, Fifteen sixteen, the maid’s in the kitchen, Seventeen, eighteen, she’s in waiting, Nineteen, twenty, my stomach’s empty.”

Lyrics to counting out rhymes can be easily interchanged because the poems don’t always have to make complete sense to the reader, as long as you use numbers and the rhyme pattern remains intact. Using rhymes to promote number awareness and literacy have helped parents and teachers engage children for years. Offering young children lessons in math, one to one correspondence, rhyming, rhythm and music in this accessible way can get children interested and ready to learn more.