Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Favorite children’s songs —Mary Had a Little Lamb

We’re going to start featuring some favorite children’s songs on our blog posts, so that you can learn about each tune’s history and why they can be so beneficial for your children to learn.

Nursery rhymes are excellent tools for helping children to develop their language and comprehension while helping to build their vocabulary. Mary Had a Little Lamb is the perfect example of a nursery rhyme style classic that is a favorite of children across the globe.

Before it became one of the most popular children’s songs of all time, Mary Had a Little Lamb was originally published as a poem by Sarah Josepha Hale in 1830. A really interesting thing about this song is that it was the first thing ever recorded on Thomas Edison’s newly invented phonograph in 1876. It’s pretty cool to think that today you can hear the same song on an array of different Mp3s and DVDs with baby music.

A cool legend about this song is that it was inspired by an event that happened in real life.  A young girl named Mary Sawyer had a pet lamb, which her brother suggested she bring to school one day. Of course, the appearance of a lamb at a school incited quite a commotion, and drew the attention of a reverend’s nephew, who wrote the three original stanzas of the poem and gave it to the writer, who augmented it and then published it as a poem. Sara Josepha Hale went on to become a successful writer, publishing her first novel, Northwood, in 1827, and serving as the editor of Godey's Ladies Book, one of the 19th century’s most popular women's periodicals. She spent the majority of her life writing about and championing women’s education and development.

Mary Had a Little Lamb is often referred to as the "best known four-lined verses in the English language,” which makes perfect sense why it’s featured on so many CDs and DVDs with baby music. What are some of your favorite children’s songs?

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