A Short Analysis of the ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ Nursery Rhyme

By Dr Oliver Tearle

‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ is one of the best-loved nursery rhymes in all of English literature, but its origins are somewhat different from most beloved children’s rhymes. What does this little rhyme mean? And where did it come from? First, here’s a minder of the words:

Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day,
Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.

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