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Mary Had a Little Lamb: Sing-Along Song Video for Kids

Mary Had a Little Lamb
Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary had a little lamb
Little lamb
Little lamb
Mary had a little lamb
Whose fleece was white as snow.

Everywhere that Mary went
Mary went
Mary went
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
It was against the rules.

It made the children laugh and play
Laugh and play
Laugh and play
Made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.

"Mary Had a Little Lamb," an endearing tale of a young girl whose loyal pet sheep follows her to school, is one of the most beloved nursery rhymes and sing-along songs of all time. Although some might assume the narrative is completely made up, or that it's an allusion to Christianity (Mary referring to the Virgin Mary and the lamb being Jesus, who follows the faithful to school and everywhere else they go), the lyrics to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" are widely accepted to be based on actual events, though there's a bit of controversy regarding the details.

In 1830 writer Sarah Hale was the first to publish the poem in 1830 in a book called Poems for Our Children. But the first few stanzas are believed to be the work of John Roulston. Depending on your source, Roulston was either a visiting college student or a classmate of Mary Sawyer, the little girl who, as the sing-along lyrics go, is alleged to have had a little lamb, with fleece as white as snow, that followed her to school one day.

So where's the controversy? Well, for starters, there's no real consensus on the inspiration for the original Mary. Mary Sawyer of Sterling, Massachusetts, has gotten the greatest amount of support as the Mary in question. In fact, one of her most influential supporters is none other than Henry Ford, the renowned automobile inventor, who purchased the schoolhouse Mary and her lamb supposedly went and had it moved to Sudbury, Massachusetts.

As if there weren't enough New England towns involved, some folks in Newport, N.H., home to Sarah Hale, claims Mary lived there, but that the entire incident was fictitious. Still others claim that "Mary Had a Little Lamb" originated in England while others point to the Biblical interpretation as the obvious inspiration for the lyrics.

Fortunately, though the history and meanings of nursery rhymes and sing-along songs are often argued about, some facts are indisputable. A fun fact about "Mary Had a Little Lamb" is that its words were among the first ever to be audio recorded; they were recited by Thomas Edison when he tested his phonograph. So whether the nursery rhyme has its roots in America or elsewhere, whether it's inspired by the Bible or by an actual schoolgirl, its place is cemented in U.S. history, thanks to Edison.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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