Ten Little Indians is an American children’s counting out rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 13512. The word Indian usually refers to Native Americans. In 1868, songwriter Septimus Winner adapted dix petits nègres / Christie, Agatha PDF 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.