Ten Little Indians is an American children’s counting out rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Dix petits nègres / Christie, Agatha PDF Index number of 12976. The word Indian usually refers to Native Americans. In 1868, songwriter Septimus Winner adapted it as a song, then called « Ten Little Injuns », for a minstrel show.
The song sometimes begins with a repeated verse, « John Brown met a little Indian » before entering the well-known verses. Songwriter Septimus Winner created an elaborated version of the children’s song, called « Ten Little Injuns », in 1868 for a minstrel show. One tumbled off and then there were eight. Eight little Injuns gayest under heav’n.
One broke his neck and then there were six. One tumbled in and then there were four. He got married and then there were none. It is generally thought that this song was adapted, possibly by Frank J.
Green in 1869, as « Ten Little Niggers », though it is possible that the influence was the other way around, with « Ten Little Niggers » being a close reflection of the text that became « Ten Little Indians ». Either way, « Ten Little Niggers » became a standard of the blackface minstrel shows. Because of the use of the racist words, modern versions for children often use « soldier boys » or « teddy bears » as the objects of the rhyme. Some of the discussions focusing on the republishing of the Ten Little Negroes can be seen as colonial nostalgia in the sense that they bring images of more « simple » times when such images were not objected to.
As such, these public discourses seek to separate Icelandic identity from past issues of racism and prejudice. One choked his little self and then there were nine. One overslept himself and then there were eight. One said he’d stay there and then there were seven. One chopped himself in halves and then there were six. A bumblebee stung one of them and then there were five.
One got in Chancery and then there were four. A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. A big bear hugged one and then there were two. One got all frizzled up and then there was one. He went and hanged himself and then there were none. The Ten Little Indians are guests of Old King Cole in the 1933 Disney cartoon of the same name. They perform a catchy dance which inspires the other nursery rhyme characters to join in.
The rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson includes a much darker song called « Ten Little Indians » that is modeled after this nursery rhyme. The opening sequence of Blackstone on APTN features a version of the song. The novel by Agatha Christie And Then There Were None was originally titled Ten Little Niggers. The revised title comes from the last line of the derivative minstrel song. His Comets did a version in 1954. Ten Little Indians » is a 1962 single by the Beach Boys, also present on their début album Surfin’ Safari.
In England’s Mickey Mouse Annual No. 6, the song was adapted into the comic « 10 Little Mickey Kids ». It depicted ten little mouse babies who meet unfortunate ends until there are only two left, who then attempt and fail suicide. Sasha describing the outside world as « Ten Little Indians ». It uses the poem very loosely, yet keeps the bumblebee verse from the original poem.
A bumblebee stung one, and then there were five. It also follows the red herring verse-« A red herring swallowed one, and then there were three. XX, Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Company. John Brown’s Ten Little Injuns » pp. 36, Wilson’s Book of Drills and Marches for Young People and Small Children of Both Sexes. Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn.