Mary had a Little Lamb

Learn to play easy piano versions of "Mary had a Little Lamb".

Mary had a Little Lamb (MAR B1)
  • Easy
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Program Notes

Mary Had a Little Lamb is an American nursery rhyme that dates back to 1830. It was first published as a poem by the school teacher Sarah Josepha Hale. The text tells the story of a little girl who takes her lamb to school. The lamb causes a commotion at the school and is put outside to wait for Mary. The lamb waits patiently in anticipation of seeing Mary at the end of the school day and the pair are happily reunited at the end of the poem.

This story is based on an actual event that occurred at Sarah Hale’s school. A young girl name Mary Sawyer took her pet lamb to the school because her brother encouraged her to. There was a visitor at the school that day, John Roulstone, who was so intrigued by the commotion the lamb caused. On his way to the schoolhouse the next morning he penned the original three stanzas of the poem and handed it to Mrs. Hale, who refined and published the poem.

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, which was a device for recording sound. A recitation of Mary Had a Little Lamb was the first thing Edison recorded on his newly invented phonograph.

Mary had a little lamb,
His fleece was white as snow,
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.
He followed her to school one day,
Which was against the rule,
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.

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

"Why does the lamb love Mary so?"
The eager children cry.
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know."
The teacher did reply.

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