Lucy Locket: Wikis


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"Lucy Locket"
Roud #19536
Written by Traditional
Published 1842
Written England
Language English
Form Nursery Rhyme

‘Lucy Locket’ is an English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19536.



Common modern versions include:

Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
Kitty Fisher found it;
Not a penny was there in it,
Only ribbon round it.[1]


The song shares its tune with ‘Yankee Doodle’ which emerged in North America the mid-eighteenth century, but it is not clear which set of lyrics emerged first.[2]

Origins and meaning

The rhyme was first recorded by James Orchard Halliwell in 1842, but there is evidence that it was popular in Britain and America at least in the early nineteenth century.[1]

Various persons have been identified with Lucy Locket and Kitty Fisher. Halliwell suggested that they were 'two celebrated courtesans of the time of Charles II', but no supportive evidence has been found.[1] The name Lucy Locket was used by John Gay in Beggar's Opera (1728), but may have already have been proverbial.[1] Kitty Fisher may have been Catherine Marie Fischer (d. 1767) a German courtesan who was the subject of three unfinished portraits by Joshua Reynolds and a number of songs, including an air recorded in Thompson's Country Dances (1760).[3]

Versions in other languages

Bengali lyrics

The song Laal jhuti kakatua (Bangla: লাল ঝুটি কাকাতুয়া), set to the Yankee Doodle/Lucy Locket melody, is a favorite among the Bengali people. It goes:

Bengali lyrics English translation

লাল ঝুটি কাকাতুয়া
ধরেছে যে বায়না
চাই তার লাল পিঠে
চিরুণী আর আয়না

A red-tufted cockatoo
has a whim
She wants her red ribbon
comb and mirror.

The Bengali Version of Lucy Locket was composed for the Film "Badshah" in the year 1964. The song was sang By Rani Mukherjee, daughter of famous Bengali singer Hemanta Mukherjee.


  1. ^ a b c d I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 279-80.
  2. ^ O. G. T. Sonneck, Report on "The Star-Spangled Banner", "Hail Columbia", "America", "Yankee Doodle" (Minerva, 2001), p. 116.
  3. ^ D. H. Fischer, Liberty and freedom (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 217.

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