The John-Betty Table


Remember memorizing your times tables? This is more fun, for young children who are confident counting and are learning grouped addition. Turn the fun math rhymes in the poem The John-Betty Table into a song (to help them remember!). It was published in Richards' Three Minute Stories, illustrated by Josephine H. Bruce (1914).
Oldie but a goodie to remember multiplication facts.

The John-Betty Table 1Twice one is two,
We make our bow to you.

Twice two is four,
We dance upon the floor.

Twice three is six,
We build a house with bricks.

Twice four is eight,
We swing upon the gate.

Twice five is ten,
We chase the neighbor’s hen.

Twice six is twelve,
In mud we dig and delve.

The John-Betty Table 2
Twice seven is fourteen,
We hear old Piggy snorting.

Twice eight is sixteen,
We have some little chicks seen.

Twice nine is eighteen,
We see our nursie waiting.

Twice ten is twenty,
We’ve bread and jam in plenty.

Twice eleven is twenty-two,
I’m put to bed, and so are you.

Twice twelve is twenty-four,
Put out the light, and shut the door.

The John-Betty Table 3Three times three is nine,
I’ll give you help of mine.

Three times four is twelve,
This axe has lost its helve.

Three times five is fifteen,
Ugh! Father’s pipe I’ve whiffed in.

Three times six is eighteen,
We think we’ll go a-skating.

Three times seven is twenty-one,
We buy ourselves a plummy bun.

Three times eight is twenty-four,
We eat it up, and ask for more.

Three times nine is twenty-seven,
John is a horse, and must be driven.

The John-Betty Table 4Three times ten is thirty.
Dear Betty’s face is dirty.

Three times eleven is thirty-three,
We sing “high diddle, diddle dee!”

Three times twelve is thirty-six.
We play our nursie pleasant tricks.

Four times four is sixteen.
The dolly’s leg we’ve fixed in.

Four times five is twenty,
Miss Betty’s frock is dainty.

Four times six is twenty-four.
We like to thump upon the door.

Four times seven is twenty-eight.
We draw some beasts upon the slate.

The John-Betty Table 5Four times eight is thirty-two.
We break the chair and tumble through.

Four times nine is thirty-six.
With milk and mud our dough we mix.

Four times ten is forty.
I think dear John is naughty.

Four times eleven is forty-four.
He says he’ll do it never more.

Four times twelve is forty-eight,
And now we think it’s getting late.

Five times five is twenty-five.
We go with dear Papa to drive.

Five times six is thirty.
We see our Cousin Gerty.

The John-Betty Table 6Five times seven is thirty-five.
We see some bees around the hive.

Five times eight is forty.
We want a little more tea.

Five times nine is forty-five.
We teach the puppy how to dive.

Five times ten is fifty.
The snow is very drifty.

Five times eleven is fifty-five,
When we are bad, we never thrive.

Five times twelve is sixty.
We feel a little mixed-y.

Six times six is thirty-six.
We must not touch the candle wicks.

The John-Betty Table 7Six times seven is forty-two.
What do you think we’d better do?

Six times eight is forty-eight.
We’ll fish, and take the sponge for bait.

Six times nine is fifty-four.
We’ve caught a thousand whales and more.

Six times ten is sixty.
Nurse says we’ve made a pigsty.

Six times eleven is sixty-six,
We’re such unlucky little chicks.

Six times twelve is seventy-two.
Boo hoo! boo hoo! boo hoo! boo hoo!

Seven times seven is forty-nine.
Dear John, you know this doll is mine.

The John-Betty Table 8Seven times eight is fifty-six.
You might just give me half your bricks!

Seven times nine is sixty-three.
You’re just as cross as you can be.

Seven times ten is seventy.
Now kiss and be forgiven-ty.

Seven times eleven is seventy-seven.
Let’s play we are the fox and raven.

Seven times twelve is eighty-four.
No! let’s be lions. Roar! roar! roar!

Eight times eight is sixty-four.
Dear John now keeps a grocery store.

Eight times nine are seventy-two.
Dear Betty comes to buy some glue.

The John-Betty Table 9Eight times ten is eighty.
My bundle’s very weighty.

Eight times eleven is eighty-eight.
Please pay me, quick! I cannot wait.

Eight times twelve is ninety-six.
Make out the change, and play no tricks!

Nine times nine is eighty-one.
A tea-party will be such fun!

Nine times ten is ninety.
Dear Betty makes such fine tea!

Nine times eleven is ninety-nine.
Will you have beer, dear John, or wine?

The John-Betty Table 10Nine times twelve is one hundred and eight.
Our table-cloth is far from straight.

Ten times ten is one hundred.
Sure, one of us has blundered.

Ten times eleven is one hundred and ten.
We’ll try to mend it up again.

Ten times twelve is one hundred and twenty.
Let’s play we’re making some frumenty.

Eleven times eleven is one hundred and twenty-one.
We hang our washing in the sun.

Eleven times twelve is one hundred and thirty-two.
Our nursie says, “Be quiet, do!”

Twelve times twelve is one hundred and forty-four.
Dear John and Betty can do no more.

We knew you would figure it out! Try this: a perfect counting song, not just for singing Christmas carols, enjoy The 12 Days of Christmas. It's called a "circular rhyme" because you repeat and add a new number each time!
Explore more Pre-K Wordplay!


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