Mary Had a Little Lamb

“Mary Had a Little Lamb” is a beautiful rhyme for kids telling the story of a girl who one day is taking her lamb to school.

The lyrics belong to American writer Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879) and the musical sheet was written by the composer Lowel Mason in the 1830s.

The story of Mary Had a Little Lamb originates from a true story. It happened to a 14 year old girl whose name was Mary Sawyer who, encouraged by her brother, is taking her lamb with her to school. Of course she couldn’t keep her pet unnoticed and the lamb was soon everybody’s distraction, becoming famous for this.

There are some theories that the poem or part of it would be written by a young John Roulstone who was visiting the school that day.

“Mary Had Little Lamb” Facts

“Mary’s Little Lamb” was inspired by a true happening.

Today Mary’s Little Lamb statue can be found in Sterling, MA, after a fire destroyed Mary’s native house in August 2007.

Also her school, known as Redstone School (1798) has been removed, and can be found in Sudbury, MA on Longfellow’s Wayside Inn land.

The lyrics of “Mary had a Little Lamb” were the first words in the history captured by a phonograph. Thomas Edison recorded his own voice reciting the rhyme, around the year 1877.

“Mary Had a Little Lamb” Lyrics

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

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

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

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