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.
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.
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.
From Shakespeare’s Mother Goose for Julius Caesar: