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Mary Had a Little Lamb

Music theme

A nursery rhyme set to Romantic Era music by Lowell Mason.
The history of this that song base on a real incident is extremely well documented, which is unusual for a nursery rhyme.

23
games
22
platforms

The first video game about Mary Had a Little Lamb was released in 1991.

Psygnosis has published all these games


Not counting the occasional [[link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out-of-place_artifact OPPart]], this is the first song ever to be recorded. Thomas Edison used this song to test his phonograph invention in 1877.

There is a true story behind the poem. While it is well documented, it is confusing so I have not related it here at this time.

Original poem by Sarah Hale (with help from John Roulstone):
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere 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 it out,
But still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about
Till Mary did appear.

"Why does the lamb love Mary so?"
The eager children cry;
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know,"
The teacher did reply.

Lyrics for music by Lowell Mason:
Mary had a little lamb,
little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb, its 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.

The poem has been seen as an alegory of struggles regarding [[link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state separation of church and state]] and a parody of the behavior of people representing secular educational institutions. In this interpretation, the name Mary referes the mother of Jesus who is the Lamb of God. The student is forbidden her constitutional right to express how Jesus loves her in the classroom where the school claims this expression is disruptive. Similarly Mary was at odds with her culture in being an unwed mother and not having the decency to being stoned to death for it. The teacher is shunning Jesus the way the pharisees (who where also teachers) had during His lifetime. Verse 2 claims the student proceeded in her school day without the love of Jesus. Mary first hid her pregnancy and was also hidden away by her fiancé for a short time. Then at odds with the earlier action, the teacher expresses a theological interpretation to answer the children's questions. Of course Mary was not stoned or shunned in the end, despite the legal requirement that she put her to death. She was accepted by her husband presumably the communities she lived in. The shunning and death sentence would be illegally imposed on her Son, by God's will. Mocking this is the way the teacher expresses religious theology against his own principles (religion has to wait outside); yet he is legally allowed to express any religious view he wants because it was in answer to the children's questions. It should also be noted that any <i>student initiated</i> expression of faith is constitutionally protected and cannot be singled out for censorship. <b><i>However,</i></b> the well documented history does not confirm this as an intended allegory. Several facts fuel the rumor. A minister and teacher, Reverend Lemuel Capen, was involved in the story being turned into a Poem. Many politically charged poems including allegory and parody are attributed to Sarah Hale. Though a writer, Sarah Hale was also a teacher. But in the end, it is all speculation.