Appalachia Rhymes

One I Love Two I Love

one i love two i love rhyme

One I love two I love,
Three I love I say;
Four I love with all my heart,
And five I cast away.
Six he loves, seven she loves,
Eight they both love.
Nine they come and ten they tarry;
Eleven they court and twelve they marry.

*Rhyme from North Carolina – Fawn Watson 1922.


A little quick research on this rhyme told me it was usually said as children counted something-cherry pits, flower petals, or even grass seeds. It was also used as a jump rope rhyme.


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  • Reply
    specle ed
    February 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    that bruth is ethur a desine injuneer er a mathamutishun i trid to keep up wiff her numbers an her deescripshuns butt i didn no enuff numbers two git too the end

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    A lot of jump ropes tunes came over with the mayflower. a lot of superstition came from our native Americans. These old Appalachians mountain folk lore had so many good old storytellers and writers. God Blessed these mountains and sprinkled talents in abundances.Tipper He made you a special one. Thanks

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 6, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I forgot the most important part. If your “rock/chip” was thrown on a line it was a “miss” and the next persons turn. Also, if a foot was dropped, to help keep your balance, it was a miss and you always had to start over when your turn came back around. Of course, there were those “smart-alect agile gals” that could toss their rock to the moon and jump and hop all the way with nary a miss. Put both feet down on the moon (12)turn, hop and giggle all the way back down sayin’, “I win, I win!” That wasn’t a lot of fun when “Miss Olympics” showed up to play!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I think it is a “hop-scotch rhyme”? Remember the boxes went up and ended in a big circle numbered 12! Sure sounds familiar to me!
    We drew in the dirt with a firm stick a “hop-scoth” or on a pavement or sidewalk with chalk.
    Their were three blocks drawn and marked going away from us. The first box was marked 1, the second box drawn on top of 1 connected to it was box 2, then connected to it was box 3. A line was drawn down the midddle and abover box 3, on either side, a box was drawn connected was box 4 on the left and box 5 on the right. The next box drawn on top of 4/5 was box 6, then two more boxes on the left 7 on the right 8, a single box drawn on top of them 9, then two boxes 10,11 and then a big circle 12!…a rhyme was said, and a rock or chip of a rock was used. When and if you got to the moon (circle at the top) you just hopped back down the “scotch” and won if you did’nt step on a line or fall!
    There of course are many hop-scotch designs, some short, some long, some with three blocks…we usually played with two, hop, hop spread our feet on two, three and hop hop on one foot, etc til you could put them down free on the circle…I doubt this makes sense. LOL…Wish I could play “hop-scotch” again!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Love this post, hope someone knows how the rhyme was used in a game, or if it was just quoted as girls sat around and daydreamed while pickin’ clovers in the yard!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Uh-oh! I’ve hit a memory gap. I know this one but can’t remember how we used it. Maybe a finger counting game but ending with “then they court and then they marry” – – but I’m not sure – – or as a fortune telling game of girls watching boys on the playground. . . .

  • Reply
    February 6, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Here in Missouri, some 50 years ago, when I was growing up it was “5, He runs away”

  • Reply
    February 6, 2014 at 8:46 am

    We pulled the petals off a Black-eyed Susan while saying she/he loves me he/she loves me not.
    We hoped to end with loves me.

  • Reply
    February 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

    That was a new one for me; I find it rather interesting as it follows the lines of courtship. I could visualize its use as a rope or a circle game.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    February 6, 2014 at 8:14 am

    I love it. Never heard this one before.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 6, 2014 at 7:26 am

    That is a sweet one and one I have never heard.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 6, 2014 at 7:21 am

    That’s cute, Tipper. It follows the progression of a relationship, well sort of. I guess if you only have 5 beans then you have to find another beau and start over.

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