"Mary Had a Little Lamb" is a nineteenth-century American origin traditional English nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 7622. It is truly one of the most beloved kids' songs, which features an endearing tale of Mary and her little pet lamb.
Origin and Meaning of Mary Had a Little Lamb
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" was first published by Capen & Lyon on May 24, 1830, as a poem by Sarah Josepha Hale. Several competing theories are associated with the origin of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" rhyme. The poem was written by Sarah Josepha Hale, who was inspired by a real-life incident. However, some commentators claim that John Roulstone composed the first four lines and that the final twelve lines were written by Sarah Josepha Hale. While others believe that Sarah has composed the entire rhyme.Â
A very interesting and delightful story is related to the composition of the nursery rhyme. Sarah Josepha Hale was inspired by a real incident, which was about a young girl, Mary Sawyer and her beloved pet. One day, Mary took the lamb to her school at the suggestion of her brother.Â
Mary recalled: "Visiting school that morning was a young man by the name of John Roulstone, a nephew of the Reverend Lemuel Capen, who was then settled in Sterling. It was the custom then for students to prepare for college with ministers, and for this purpose Roulstone was studying with his uncle. The young man was very much pleased with the incident of the lamb; and the next day he rode across the fields on horseback to the little old schoolhouse and handed me a slip of paper which had written upon it the three original stanzas of the poem..."
On August 12, 2007, the house of Mary Sawyer, which was located in Sterling, Massachusetts, was destroyed by arson. A beautiful statue representing Mary's Little Lamb is standing high in the town center.Â
Fun in singing the poem
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" is a four stanza song. Unlike other nursery rhymes, no efforts have been made to change the lyrics of the original song. "Mary Had a Little Lamb" tells about a beautiful relationship between Mary Sawyer and her pet lamb, who follows her wherever she goes. One fine day, she took her pet to the school. But as pets were not allowed in the school, teachers asked to keep the lamb outside the school premises. Adorable lamb waited patiently for Mary till her school got over. And as he saw Mary after school hours, he was overjoyed and happy to meet her. The poem truly portrays a strong bond between Mary and the lamb! Â
So, all the little ones and tiny tots, enjoy singing or reciting the most delightful nursery rhymes, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" to know how much Mary loved and cared for her pet.Â