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A Number of Number Nursery Rhymes

Expand your students' cultural literacy, and teach them a little math, by introducing them to these verses...

Bah, Bah a black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes merry have I,
Three bags full.
One for my master,
One for my dame,
One for my little boy
That lives in the lane.


There were two birds sat on a stone,
Fa, la, la, la, lal, de;
One flew away and then there was one, etc.
The other flew after, and then there was one...
And so the poor stone was left all alone...
One of the birds then back again flew...
T'other came after, and then there were two...
Said one t'other--How do you do?...
Very well, thank you, and how are you?...


Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John,
Went to bed with his trousers on;
One shoe off, and one shoe on,
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John.


Dear, dear, what can the matter be?
Three old women got up in an apple tree,
One stayed up, and one came down,
And the third got stung by a bumblebee!


Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!
If your daughters do not like them
Give them to your sons;
But if you haven't any of these pretty little elves
You cannot do better than eat them yourselves.


Four white feet, sell him right away;
Three white feet, keep him not a day;
Two white feet, sell him to a friend;
One white foot, keep him to the end.


There were two blackbirds
Sat upon a hill,
The one named Jack,
The other named Jill,
Fly away Jack,
Fly away Jill,
Come again, Jack,
Come again Jill.


One, two, buckle my shoe;
Three, four, open the door;
Five, six, pick up sticks;
Seven, eight, lay them straight;
Nine, ten, a big 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 stomach's empty.
Please, ma'am, to give me some dinner.


One, two, three,
Four and five,
I caught a hare alive;
Six, seven, eight,
Nine and ten,
I let him go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
The little finger on the right.


One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
All good children go to heaven,
Some fly east,
Some fly west,
Some fly over the cuckoo's nest.


One for the money,
Two for the show,
Three to make ready
And four to go!


My father, he left me, just as he was able,
One bowl, one bottle, one table,
Two bowls, two bottles, two tables,
Three bowls, three bottles, three tables....


There once were two cats of Kilkenny,
Each thought there was one cat too many,
So they fought and they fit,
And they scratched and they bit,
Till, excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails,
Instead of two cats, there weren't any.


Robbin and Bobbin,
Two great bellied men,
They eat more victuals
Than threescore men.


I love sixpence, a jolly, jolly sixpence,
I love sixpence as my life;
I spent a penny of it, I spent a penny of it,
I took a penny home to my wife.

I love four pence, a jolly, jolly, four pence,
I love four pence as my life;
I spent two pence of it, I spent two pence of it,
i took two pence home to my wife.

I love nothing, a jolly, jolly nothing,
I love nothing as my life,
I spent nothing of it, I spent nothing of it,
I took nothing home to my wife.


There were two wrens upon a tree,
Whistle and I'll come to thee;
Another came, and there were three,
Whistle and I'll come to thee;
Another came and there were four.
You needn't whistle any more,
For being frightened, off they flew,
And there are none to show to you.


There was a monkey climbed a tree,
When he fell down, then down fell he.

There was a crow sat on a stone,
When he was gone, then there was none.

There was an old wife did eat an apple,
When she ate two, she ate a couple.


Little Betty Blue
Lost her holiday shoe,
What can little Betty do?
Give her another
To match the other,
And then she may walk out in two.


The dove says coo, coo, what shall I do?
I can scarce maintain two.
Pooh, pooh, says the wren, I have got ten,
And keep them all like gentlemen!


On the first day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying,
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Twelve lords a-leaping,
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.


A gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Four horses stuck in a bog.
Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Five puppies by our dog Ball,
Who daily for their breakfast call;
Four horses stuck in a bog.
Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Six beetles against a wall,
Close by an old woman's apple-stall
Five puppies by our dog Ball,
Who daily for their breakfast call;
Four horses stuck in a bog.
Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Seven lobsters in a dish,
As fresh as any heart could wish.
Six beetles against a wall,
Close by an old woman's apple-stall
Five puppies by our dog Ball,
Who daily for their breakfast call;
Four horses stuck in a bog.
Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Eight joiners in joiner's hall,
Working with their tools and all;
Seven lobsters in a dish,
As fresh as any heart could wish.
Six beetles against a wall,
Close by an old woman's apple-stall
Five puppies by our dog Ball,
Who daily for their breakfast call;
Four horses stuck in a bog.
Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Nine peacocks in the air,
I wonder how they all came there,
I don't know nor I don't care;
Eight joiners in joiner's hall,
Working with their tools and all;
Seven lobsters in a dish,
As fresh as any heart could wish.
Six beetles against a wall,
Close by an old woman's apple-stall
Five puppies by our dog Ball,
Who daily for their breakfast call;
Four horses stuck in a bog.
Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Ten comets in the sky,
Some low and some high;
Nine peacocks in the air,
I wonder how they all came there,
I don't know nor I don't care;
Eight joiners in joiner's hall,
Working with their tools and all;
Seven lobsters in a dish,
As fresh as any heart could wish.
Six beetles against a wall,
Close by an old woman's apple-stall
Five puppies by our dog Ball,
Who daily for their breakfast call;
Four horses stuck in a bog.
Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Eleven ships sailing o'er the main,
Some bound for France and some for Spain;
Ten comets in the sky,
Some low and some high;
Nine peacocks in the air,
I wonder how they all came there,
I don't know nor I don't care;
Eight joiners in joiner's hall,
Working with their tools and all;
Seven lobsters in a dish,
As fresh as any heart could wish.
Six beetles against a wall,
Close by an old woman's apple-stall
Five puppies by our dog Ball,
Who daily for their breakfast call;
Four horses stuck in a bog.
Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.

Twelve huntsmen with horn and hounds,
Hunting over other men's ground;
Eleven ships sailing o'er the main,
Some bound for France and some for Spain;
Ten comets in the sky,
Some low and some high;
Nine peacocks in the air,
I wonder how they all came there,
I don't know nor I don't care;
Eight joiners in joiner's hall,
Working with their tools and all;
Seven lobsters in a dish,
As fresh as any heart could wish.
Six beetles against a wall,
Close by an old woman's apple-stall
Five puppies by our dog Ball,
Who daily for their breakfast call;
Four horses stuck in a bog.
Three monkeys tied to a clog.
Two pudding ends would choke a dog,
With a gaping wide-mouthed waddling frog.


Three young rats with black felt hats,
Three young ducks with white straw flats,
Three young dogs with curling tails,
Three young cats with demi-veils,
Went out to walk with two young pigs
In satin vests and sorrel wigs.
But suddenly it chanced to rain
And so they all went home again.


I bought a dozen new-laid eggs,
Of good old farmer Dickens;
I hobbled home upon two legs,
And found them full of chickens.


Chook, chook, chook, chook, chook,
Good morning, Mrs. Hen.
How many chickens have you got?
Madam, I've got ten.
Four of them are yellow,
And four of them are brown,
And two of them are speckled red,
The nicest in the town.


How many miles to Babylon?
Three score miles and ten.
Can I get there by candle-light?
Yes, and back again.
If your heels are nimble and light,
You can get there by candle-light.


There was an old woman had three cows,
Rosy and Colin and Dun.
Rosy and Colin were sold at the fair,
And Dun broke her heart in a fit of despair,
So there was an end of her three cows,
Rosy and Colin and Dun.


Round about the rosebush,
Three steps,
Four steps,
All the little boys and girls
Are sitting
On the doorsteps.


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
Threescore men and threescore more,
Cannot place Humpty Dumpty as he was before.


The fiddler and his wife,
The piper and his mother,
Ate three half-cakes, three whole cakes,
And three-quarters of another.


Three little ghostesses,
Sitting on postesses,
Eating buttered toastesses,
Greasing their fistesses,
Up to their wristesses,
Oh, what beastesses
To make such feastesses!


Sing a Song of Sixpence,
A bag full of Rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing:
Was not that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?

The king was in his counting-house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlor,
Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes,
There came a little blackbird,
And snapped off her nose.


When I was a little boy,
I washed my Mother's dishes.
I put my finger in my ear
And pulled out little fishes.

My mother called me Good boy,
And bid me pull out more,
I put my finger in my ear,
And pulled out fourscore.


Robin the Bobbin, the big-bellied Ben,
He ate more meat than fourscore men;
He ate a cow, he ate a calf,
He ate a butcher and a half,
He ate a church, he ate a steeple,
He ate the priest and all the people!


As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits;
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?


Hickety, pickety, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen;
Gentlemen come every day
To see what my black hen doth lay,
Sometimes nine and sometimes ten,
Hickety, pickety, my black hen.


Twelve pears hanging high,
Twelve knights riding by;
Each knight took a pear,
And yet left eleven there.


Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone,
And that has twenty-eight days clear
And twenty-nine in each leap year.


Thirty white horses
Upon a red hill,
Now they tramp,
Now they champ,
Now they stand still. (your teeth)


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Picture Credits
Original bunny climbing rope picture by Paige Miglio (copyright 2000 ©) from One More Bunny authored by Rick Walton.
Original purple monster picture by Renee Williams-Andriani (copyright 1998 ©) from Really, Really Bad School Jokes authored by Rick Walton.
Original bullfrog seated picture by Chris McAllister (copyright 1999 ©) from Bullfrog Pops! authored by Rick Walton.
Electronic modifications by Ann Walton.
(from Rick Walton's Stuff for Teachers and Librarians)



Last updated: October 25, 2002