Mary Had a Little Lamb

DESCRIPTION: "Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow." Surely you know the rest....
AUTHOR: Words: Sarah Josepha Hale
EARLIEST DATE: 1830 ("Poems For Our Children"); a version with music credited to Lowell Mason was published in 1831 in "Juvenile Lyre or Hymns and Songs")
KEYWORDS: animal children
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Randolph 360, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (1 text, 1 tune, with some unusual words in the first verse)
Opie-Oxford2 341, "Mary had a little lamb" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #174, pp. 127-128, "(Mary had a little lamb)"
Jack, p. 128, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (1 text)
Dolby, p. 106, "Mar Had a Little Lamb" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 354-355, "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
cf. Greenway-AFP, pp. 51-52, "Mary's Little Lot" (1 text)
DT, (MARYLAM2* -- if you're broad-minded about what constitutes a version)
ADDITIONAL: Henry Randall Waite, _College Songs: A Collection of New and Popular Songs of the American Colleges_, new and enlarged edition, Oliver Ditson & Co., 1887, p. 51, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (1 text, 1 tune, called the "Hobart Version" and having an "Ain't I Glad To Get Out of the Wilderness" chorus) (part 3, p. 55 in the 1876 editioon); cf pp. 50-51 of the 1876 edition, "Son of a Gambolier," which has "Mary Had a Little Lamb" verses with a "Son of a Gambolier" tune)

Roud #7622
cf. "Mary Had a William Goat" (tune & meter)
cf. "Goodnight Ladies" (partial tune)
cf. "Mary's Little Lamb" by Commodore Jones (in which Mary raises various lambs, which won't follow her and get eaten; she fights the lamb over its wool, etc.)
Mary's Little Lot (Greenway-AFP, pp. 51-52)
Mary Had a William Goat (File: San336)
A Retrospect ("Freshman has a little cane, a little cane, a little cane") (Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, p. 117)
NOTES: Reported to be based on a true story. Which seems likely enough; who would make up something so trite?
The Baring-Goulds report a variant by "modern teenager[s]": The response to "Mary had a little lamb" is "And was the doctor ever surprised!"
According to John Julian, editor, A Dictionary of Hymnology, 1892; second edition 1907 (I use the 1957 Dover edition in two volumes), p, 481, the author's biography is as follows:
Hale, Sarah Josepha, nee Buell, b[orn] at Newport, New Hampshire, 1795, and married to David Hale, a lawyer, who died in 1822. Mrs. Hale edited The Ladies' Magazine, Boston, from 1828; and Godey's Ladies' Book, Phila[delphia], from 1837, besides publishing several works. Her ymn, "Our Father in heaven, we hallow Thy name" (The Lord's Prayer), appeared in Maron & Green's Church Psalmody, 1831, No. 553, in 2 st[anzas] of 8 l[ines]. Mrs. Hale, who was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, d[ied] in 1879. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.8
File: R360

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