Indian Giver

Album: Indian Giver (1969)
Charted: 5

Songfacts®:

  • An "Indian Giver" is someone who gives something away, then wants it back. It was a popular expression in schoolyards, but has since fallen out of favor and is rarely used by adults because of its negative connotations toward Native Americans.

    The song was one of several by The 1910 Fruitgum Company that was based on a children's game or saying.
  • The 1910 Fruitgum Company were legitimate musicians and songwriters, but many of their songs were the product of their producers, Jeff Katz and Jerry Kasenetz. Studio musicians were brought in to play on this behind lead singer Mark Gutkowski. Floyd Marcus, who is the band's drummer, gives his thoughts on this song: "They kept Mark on the vocals by that point, because they figured he was the one that was going to be least likely to give resistance. And he didn't mind doing what he was doing. And 'Indian Giver' was another one of the writers that they brought in. It went with the whole game plan, as I like to say, because obviously they were using a lot of those themes: '1, 2, 3, Red Light,' 'Simon Says,' 'May I Take A Giant Step,' 'Indian Giver,' they were using a younger hook to keep the thing going." (Check out our interview with Floyd Marcus.)
  • The Ramones recorded this song, which appears on their 1988 album Ramones Mania. It was also recorded by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Spencer Davis.
  • Bobby Bloom, Ritchie Cordell and Bo Gentry wrote this song. Bloom is known for his 1970 solo hit "Montego Bay."

Comments: 3

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 15th 1969, the 1910 Fruitgum Company performed "Indian Giver" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #8 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the very time day it would peak at #5 {for 1 week} and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    It would also reach #5 on the Australian Kent Music Report chart...
    Between 1968 and 1969 the New Jersey quintet had seven Top 100 records; with three making the Top 10; their two other Top 10 records were, "Simon Says" {peaked at #4 in 1968} and "1,2,3, Red Light" {reached #5, also in 1968}.
  • Martin from Los Angeles, CaJessica Simpson recently used the term in referring to a boat she gave her ex, Tony Romo. Obviously this met with much consternation from the Native American community when her statement went public.
  • Farrah from Elon, NcWOW!!! I didn't know Bobby Bloom co-wrote this song! It's one of my favorites.
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