“Mary Had a Little Lamb” is one of the most popular nursery rhymes of all time. Since it was written it has been recited and sung to children across the world. Even today, many years after it was written, children are still familiar with the words. Amazingly, the rhyme is actually based on a true story about a girl who took her pet lamb to school. Read on to find out who wrote this cute children’s rhyme.
Who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb”?
The American writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” It was included in her publication ” Poems for Our Children” and was first published in 1830. The original title for the poem was “Mary’s Lamb.” Not long after, composer Lowell Mason created a melody for the poem, which is still sung to this day. He included the repetition in the verses to fit with his composition.
The background for the nursery rhyme occurred when a girl called Mary Sawyer took her pet lamb to school in Sterling, Massachusetts. The lamb caused a major disruption at school which was witnessed by John Roulstone who was visiting the school. It is believed by some historians that John Roulstone wrote the first four lines of the poem and that Sarah Josepha Hale wrote the rest.
Did you know?
Sarah Josepha Hale is also famous for successfully campaigning for the Thanksgiving holiday. She also helped fund the Bunker Hill Monument.
Lowell Mason composed over 1600 hymn tunes. His other famous composition is the Christmas Carol “Joy to the World.”