“Ten Little Indians (John Brown Had a Little Indian)”


"John Brown he had a little Indian (x3), One little Indian boy." "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"


Of the Mother Goose item "Tom Brown's Two little Indians," the Baring-Goulds write, "Whether or not this rhyme inspires the writing of 'Two Little Injuns...' is an interesting speculation." I must say that they are quite close -- close enough that pure coincidence seems unlikely. - RBW

Cross references


  • Doreen Elliott, "Old Joe Badger" (on Elliotts01)


  1. Randolph 594, "John Brown Had a Little Indian" (1 text)
  2. BrownIII 136, "John Brown Had a Little Injun" (1 text)
  3. MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 241-242, (no title) (1 short text, consisting of this chorus counted forward then backward; John Brown is not mentioned)
  4. Fuld-WFM, p. 205, "Drunken Sailor (Monkey's Wedding -- John Brown Had a Little Injun -- Ten Little Injuns)"
  5. cf. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #597, p. 237, "(Tom Brown's)"
  6. Roud #4993
  7. BI, R594


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1940 (Ford)
Found in: US(So)