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Encyclopedia > Ten Little Indians

The modern children's rhyme (sometimes "teddy bears" is used instead of Indians to avoid offense):

One little, two little, three little Indians
Four little, five little, six little Indians
Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians
Ten little Indian boys.
Ten little, nine little, eight little Indians
Seven little, six little, five little Indians
Four little, three little, two little Indians
One little Indian boy.

Contents

Music

The song, supra, is usually performed to the Irish folk tune Michael Finnegan.


History

The original piece, then called "10 Little Injuns", was written by songwriter Septimus Winner in the 1860's for a minstrel show and was much more elaborate. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Detail from cover of The Celebrated Negro Melodies, as Sung by the Virginia Minstrels, 1843 The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface or, especially after the American Civil War, African Americans in blackface. ...

Ten little Injuns standin' in a line,
One toddled home and then there were nine;
Nine little Injuns swingin' on a gate,
One tumbled off and then there were eight.
One little, two little, three little, four little, five little Injun boys,
Six little, seven little, eight little, nine little, ten little Injun boys.
Eight little Injuns gayest under heav'n.
One went to sleep and then there were seven;
Seven little Injuns cuttin' up their tricks,
One broke his neck and then there were six.
Six little Injuns all alive,
One kicked the bucket and then there were five;
Five little Injuns on a cellar door,
One tumbled in and then there were four.
Four little Injuns up on a spree,
One got fuddled and then there were three;
Three little Injuns out on a canoe,
One tumbled overboard and then there were two.
Two little Injuns foolin' with a gun,
One shot t'other and then there was one;
One little Injun livin' all alone,
He got married and then there were none.

Parody

From Shakespeare's Mother Goose for Julius Caesar:

X Roman soldiers in a battle line
One tripped on his spear, and then there were nine.
IX Roman soldiers staying up late
One drifted off to sleep, and then there were eight.
VIII Roman soldiers wished they were in heaven;
The augurs damned one, then there were seven.
VII Roman soldiers playing strategic tricks;
A catapult shot one, and then there were six.
VI Roman soldiers, well fed and alive
Till one ate poisoned food, and then there were five.
V Roman soldiers battering on a door;
One was crushed beneath the ram, and then there were four.
IV Roman soldiers stepping out so free,
One was slung up in a net, and then there were three.
III Roman soldiers to their Legion true,
One absconded with the Flag, and then there were two.
II Roman soldiers crossed the Rubicon,
One drowned in the stream, and then there was one.
I Roman soldier living all alone:
He broke his heart when Caesar died, and then there were none.

Popular culture


  Results from FactBites:
 
ShermanAlexie.com: Ten Little Indians (455 words)
Now, with Ten Little Indians, he offers eleven poignant and emotionally resonant new stories about Native Americans who, like all Americans, find themselves at personal and cultural crossroads, faced with heartrending, tragic, sometimes wondrous moments of being that test their loyalties, their capacities, and their notions of who they are and who they love.
In "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above," an intellectual feminist Spokane Indian woman saves the lives of dozens of white women all around her, to the bewilderment of her only child, now a grown man who looks back at his life with equal parts fondness, amusement, and regret.
Ten Little Indians is a great new work from "a master of language, writing beautifully, unsparingly, and straight to the heart" (The Nation).
Ten Little Indians - Literature Guide - MSN Encarta (96 words)
Ten Little Indians - Literature Guide - MSN Encarta
In 1939 mystery lovers eagerly awaited the publication of Agatha Christie's new novel, Ten Little Indians.
The book was published under two titles, deemed too offensive for the American public, before the title was finally settled as Ten Little Indians.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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