Mary Had a Little Lamb


Version 1

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.

(Mother Goose Club Version)

Version 2

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.

(Traditional)


Version 3

Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow,
And every where 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 a 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 keep me from all harm.'

'What makes the lamb love Mary so?'
The eager children cry—
'O, Mary loves the lamb, you know,'
The Teacher did reply;—
'And you each gentle animal
In confidence may bind,
And make them follow at your call,
If you are always kind?

Source: Hale, Poems for Our Children (1830)



Historical Background

“Mary had a Little Lamb” was written by Sarah Hale of Boston in 1830. The popular rhyme ignites a child’s imagination by introducing imagery and similes while demonstrating a message of love and loyalty. It has also been speculated that the rhyme has Christian origins, allegorically representing the Virgin Mary and Jesus (the lamb). The white-as-snow fleece represents purity and innocence, just as the lamb’s loyalty in spite of the laughing children reflects invulnerability to mockery and ridicule.

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