Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow,
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school one day;
That was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play,
To see the lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned him out,
But still he lingered near:
And waited patiently about,
Till Mary did appear.

And then he ran to her, and laid
His head upon her arm,
As if he said, “I'm not afraid;
You'll shield me from all harm.”

“What makes the lamb love Mary so?”
The little children cried;
“Because she loves the lamb, you know,”
The teacher quick replied.

“And you, each gentle animal,
In confidence may bind,
And make them follow at your call,
If you are always kind.”

Lamb in School (Mary Had a Little Lamb)

The lyrics of the song Lowell Mason composed:

Mary had a little lamb,
little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb,
whose fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
and everywhere that Mary went,
the lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day
school one day, school one day,
It followed her to school one day,
which was against the rules.

It made the children laugh and play,
laugh and play, laugh and play,
it made the children laugh and play
to see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,
turned it out, turned it out,
And so the teacher turned it out,
but still it lingered near,

And waited patiently about,
patiently about, patiently about,
And waited patiently about
till Mary did appear.

“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
Love Mary so? Love Mary so?
“Why does the lamb love Mary so,”
the eager children cry.

“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
The lamb, you know, the lamb, you know,
“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know,”
the teacher did reply.

Composed in America

The nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—a wonderful childrens's poem, really, was composed by an American writer Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879). Written a little earlier, it was published in May 1830.

It is often said that there is no historical background to the poem. While this is true in a sense that it is not an allegorical narrative of a great historical event like many other nursery rhymes, it is nevertheless based on real life.

 

The Real Mary

The person behind the poem was Mary Sawyer who lived in Sterling, Massachusetts. Mary Sawyer, as a young girl had a lamb, which she indeed took with her to the school one day. The schoolhouse in question, was later bought and relocated by Henry Ford.

 

An Early Recording

Thomas Edison in 1877 used this rhyme for his first phonograph recording. For long it was thought to be the world’s very first recording of human voice, until in 2008 another recording, dating back to 1860 was found.

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