Ten Little Injuns

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"Ten Little Injuns"
TenLittleInjuns1868.png
Sheet music cover, 1868
Song
Written 1868
Published 1868
Writer(s) Septimus Winner

"Ten Little Injuns" is a popular song written by Septimus Winner in 1868 for the minstrel trade. It was based on an 1850s minstrel skit about one John Brown whose American Indian boy grows from "one little Injun" into "ten little Injuns," and then back to one,[1]that is:[2]

John Brown had a little Injun,
John Brown had a little Injun
John Brown had a little Injun
Had a little Injun Boy!
One little, two little, three little Injuns ...

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics as published by Winner in 1868:[3]

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

Chorus:
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" travelling in Devon
One said he'd stay there and then there were seven
Seven little "Injuns" cuttin' up their tricks
One broke his neck and then there were six
(Chorus)

Six little "Injuns" runnin' to survive
One kicked the bucket and then there were five
Five little "Injuns" on a cellar door
One tumbled in and then there were four
(Chorus)

Four little "Injuns" out upon a spree
One dead drunk and then there were three
Three little "Injuns" out on a canoe
One tumbled overboard and then there were two
(Chorus)

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
(Chorus)

Encore Verse:

This little "Injun," with his little wife
Lived in a wigwam the balance of his life
One daddy "Injun" and a mommy "Squaw"
Brought up a family of Ten "Injuns" more

2nd Chorus:
One little, two little, three little, four little, five little "Injuns" more
Six little, seven little, eight little, nine little, ten little "Injuns" more

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ —, "Reviews and Literary Notices", p. 770: "We are all familiar with that John Brown whom the minstrel has immortalized as being the possessor of a diminutive youth of the aboriginal American race, who in the course of the ditty, is multiplied from 'one little Injun' into 'ten little Injuns,' and who, in a succeeding stanza, by an ingenious amphisbænic process, is again reduced to the singular number."
  2. ^ Wilson, "John Brown's Ten Little Injuns"
  3. ^ Winner, "Ten Little Injuns" (Sheet music).

Bibliography[edit]

  • —, "Reviews and Literary Notices", pp. 770–779, The Atlantic Monthly Vol. III (June, 1859) No. XX, Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Company.
  • Wilson, B.M. "John Brown's Ten Little Injuns" pp. 32–36, Wilson's Book of Drills and Marches for Young People and Small Children of Both Sexes. New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, Publishers (1895).
  • Winner, Septimus. "Ten Little Injuns" (Sheet music). Boston: Oliver Ditson Company (1868).