This nursery rhyme written by Franklin Green is about ten little soldier boys dying. The ten main characters in Agatha Christie’s acclaimed novel, And Then There Were None, die like the soldier boys in this nursery rhyme.
“Ten little soldier boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self then there were Nine.
Nine little soldier boys sat up very later;
One overslept himself and then there were Eight.
Eight little soldier boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were Seven.
Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.
Six little soldier boys playing with a hive;
A bumble bee stung one and then there were Five.
Five little soldier boys going in for law;
One got into Chancery and then there were Four.
Four little soldier boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three.
Three little soldier boys walking in the Zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were Two.
Two little soldier boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was One.
One little soldier boy left all alone;
He went and hanged himself
And then there were None.”
– Franklin Green, 1869