In the early 1800s, a little girl named Mary Sawyer was followed to school by her pet lamb. A young man named John Roulstone witnessed the incident an wrote a poem about it, which was published in 1830 by Sara Josepha Hale. It has become one of the world’s most loved nursery rhymes and an almost universally recognized melody. In 1877, inventor Thomas Edison made the world’s first audio recording with his phonograph. What did he record? “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…”
This is a simple three-chord song. Because the melody is so identifiable, beginning students can often hear where the chords should change. It also makes a great song to practice writing tablature by ear.