Mary Had a Little Lamb variants

Mary Had a Little Lamb lends itself to parody very, very well. Most of these are really rhymes more than songs; few of them are actually sung.

Some versions collected by Sherman:

Mary had a little lamb
put it on the heater
every time he turned around
he burned his little peter!

(alaska, late 70s)

Mary had a little lamb
fed it castor oil
everywhere that mary went
it fertilized the soil

Mary had a little lamb
the doctor fainted

(above two are from Kentucky, late 1950s. The first was also recorded in England at the same time by Iona Opie)

Opie collected MANY versions of this, including the following:

Mary had a little lamb
you’ve heard this tale before
did you know she passed the plate
and had a little more?

In America, in the days when Chicago stockyards were first building a reputation as being fairly disgusting (early 20th century), people sang this:

Mary had a little lamb
when she saw it sicken
she sent it to chicago
and it came back labeled “chicken.”

But this wasn’t the first parody – parodies of this song have been going around since at least 1886, when the following was published in a magazine:

mary had a little lamb
with coat as black as soot
and into mary’s cup of milk
it put its dirty foot

Now Mary, a straightforward girl
hated any sham
rapped out a naughty little word
that rhymed with mary’s lamb!

(editor’s note: get it? she said “damn”)

This (and the duck one below), puts Mary and her lamb into the venerable almost cussing tradition that connects these parodies back hundreds of years.

Here’re the ones Kay Shapero collected:

From Bruce Holloway

Mary had a little lamb
A little steak, a little ham
A little soda topped with fizz
Now look how sick Mary is!

From Darrel Exline

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Hickory Dickory Doc.
Mary had a little lamb,
The doctor died of shock!

From Charlie Kellner

Mary had an aeroplane
In which she loved to frisk
Now wasn’t she a silly girl
Her little *

From Mitch Marmel

Mary had a little lamb
She also had a duck
She put them on the windowsill
To see if they would fu-fu-fall off.

From J. M. A. Guthrie

Mary had a little sheep
And with this sheep did Mary sleep.
The sheep turned out to be a ram
And Mary had a little lamb.

From Cindy Ruth

Mary had a little lamb
Her father shot it dead
Now Mary takes that lamb to school
Between two hunks of bread

From Rachel Force

Mary had a little lamb
She kept it in the closet
And every time she opened the door
It left a little deposit.

From Scott Jacob Loehr

Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb,
The doctor was suprised.

Most of these came from the 60s-70s, but I’ve seen a few of them in books from the 50s and before, too.

Post the ones you knew (or heard from kids lately) in the comments!

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36 Comments

  1. Merav Hoffman

    I heard this one as a kid in London, ON, circa 1980-1986:

    When Mary had a little lamb
    The doctors were suprised
    When Old Macdonald had a farm
    The doctors nearly died.

    Reply
  2. Adam Selzer

    Merav – I LOVE that one. Found it just now in a book that dates it back another 10 years or so.

    Reply
  3. Dawn

    "Mary had a little lamb.
    With mint jelly."
    One of Dot's poetry performances on Animaniacs, in the mid 1990s.
    (How do you feel about people commenting several months late on these posts? Just found this blog and am reading backwards through posts, and am very amused so far.)

    Reply
  4. andrew

    My cousin told me this grim one, it must have been around 2001-2002

    Mary had a little lamb
    Her father heard him sneeze
    He's burning in a field right now
    Because of foot-and-mouth disease

    This was in Belfast, when the UK had an outbreak of the disease. Their was a mass cull of farm livestock, which sadly included burnings (I remember seeing this on the way to school, the sight and smell was awful).

    Reply
  5. allie.blanchard

    Mary had a little lamb
    She tied it to a pylon
    10,000 volts shot up its tail
    And turned its wool to nylon.

    And also a variation to one above…

    Mary had a little lamb
    Her father shot it dead
    It came with her to school one day
    Between two slices of bread

    We used to sing these at primary school (late 90's) in New Zealand!

    Reply
    1. Kiki

      That first one we used to play in 2002, 6th grade.

      “Mary had a little lamb,
      She tied it to a pylon,
      1000 volts shot up its tail,
      You’ll never defeat us!”

      Reply
  6. Anonymous

    No idea where this came from, but years ago I heard some classmates singing it on the bus:

    Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.
    Mary had a little lamb, its fleece as white as snow.

    It followed her to work one day, work one day, work one day.
    It followed her to work one day, and Mary lost her job.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Here's one i like a lot:

    Mary had a little lamb,
    with her it liked to frolic
    it licked her hand one day,
    and died of Painter's colic

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Mary had a racecar
    That was painted red
    And every where that Mary went
    The cops picked up the dead.

    and also

    Mary had a little lamb
    She fed it very well
    One day she fed it dynamite
    and blew 'em all to pieces

    I read these on a camp song website last year

    Reply
    1. rom

      I shouldn’t wonder that you’re anonymous…

      The second one neither rhymes nor scans.

      Reply
  9. Russ

    Heard whilst at school back in the late 70's in south-east England:

    Mary had a little lamb
    Full of fun & Frolics
    One day it jumped a barbed wire fence
    And ripped off both it's b, b, back legs

    Mary had a little bike
    She rode it back-to-front
    Every time the wheel went round
    A spoke went up her…… skirt

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    Mary had a little lamb
    she also had a bear
    I've seen her little lamb
    but I've never seen her bare!

    I learned it in the school yard in Australia in the late 90's

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Mary had a little lamb
    She ate it with mint jelly
    And everywhere that Mary went
    The Lamb went in her belly

    Maryland, mid 90s.

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    Mary had a little lamb
    She kept it in a bucket
    And every time the lamb got out
    The sheepdog tried to…..chase it all round the garden.

    teacher training college… 1960s…

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    Gotta thank Andrew Dice Clay for this version:

    Mary had a little lamb
    that lived in her back yard
    and when she took her panties off
    his woolly dick got hard!

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    A variant of two above…

    Mary had a little lamb
    Her father had a gun
    Now Mary still took that lamb to school
    Between two halves of a bun

    also

    Mary had a little lamb
    full of fun and frollicks
    one day it jumped a barbed wire fence…
    and badly hurt itself

    and

    Mary had a little skirt
    split up the back in half
    and every time she took a step
    the lads could see her calf

    Mary had another skirt
    split all the way up the front
    every time she took a step
    the lads could see her c… but she never wore that one!

    Collected early 1990s from work colleauges in Oxford UK

    Reply
  15. median k thing

    Mary had a little kid
    With horns and hairy udders;
    But that's the kind of kid you get,
    From fucking with your brudders

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    Mary had a little lamb
    That followed her to sleep
    That Lamb turned out to be a Ram
    Now Mary's full of sheep

    Boy Scout camp – early 60's

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    I took piano in first grade and, naturally, Mary Had A Little Lamb was the first tune I learned. My older brothers liked to torment me while I practiced it by singing:
    Mary had a little lamb,
    Little lamb, little lamb
    Mary had a little lamb
    Whose fleece was white as snow.
    It followed her to school one day
    School one day, school one day,
    It followed her to school one day
    And now it's fleece is red.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    Mary had a little lamb
    She took it to bed with her to sleep
    The sheep turned out to be a ram
    Now, Mary has a little lamb

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    Sorry, that was supposed to start off–Mary had a little sheep.

    Reply
  20. Shadow

    In Australia mid-90s the library had a book called 'Fractured Rhymes and Ruptured Fairytales' (or something close to that) which was where I first read:

    Mary had a little lamb,
    With gravy, mint and peas
    Murder! The sheep all cry
    But Mary says "More please!"

    Reply
  21. Paul

    Mary had a little lamb,
    a little pork, a little jam,
    a little egg on toast,
    a little potted roast.

    Mary had a little lamb
    that drank some gasoline,
    and then it wandered near a fire
    and since has not Benzine.

    Reply
  22. Tartan Jiser

    Mary had a little lamb
    She took it to the vets
    It would not stop its swearing
    The Bastaxx had Tourettes

    Reply
  23. Tahir Khalid

    Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.
    And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go
    But Mary stepped into the wrong ends,
    Got a baseball bat to the head,
    And her lamb was cooked for Mr Khans Evening Dinner

    Reply
  24. hvemerjohngalt

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

    One day the price of meat went up
    Which did not quite please her.
    Tonight she's having leg of lamb
    The rest is in the freezer.

    (Saw this on the Usenet circa 1990)

    Reply
  25. Ian Felton

    Mary had a liitle lamb
    She tied it to a pylon.
    Ten thousand volts went up its bum,
    And turned its wool to nylon.

    Reply
  26. Mad Dog Gatecrasher

    Similar to what some have said above, in the mid to late 80's at Scout camp in Rhode Island and New Jersey, we used to sing what we called the "Announcements Song" at the campfire as news and announcements were read. It went like this- though I don’t remember if there was any particular order. In between each rhyme, there would be an announcement, like “tomorrow after lunch there will be a softball game on the field in front of the dining hall”.
    Announcements, announcements, announcements!
    When Mary had a little lamb
    The doctors were surprised
    Announcements, announcements, announcements!
    When Old Macdonald had a farm
    The doctors nearly died.
    Announcements, announcements, announcements!
    Little Bunny Foo Foo
    Hoppin’ through the forest…BANG!
    Announcements, announcements, announcements!
    Off we go, into the wild blue yonder… CRASH!

    I’m sure there were more but I don’t recall.

    Reply
  27. kiylaanne

    Mary had a little lamb
    It's fleece as white as snow
    And everywhere that mary went
    Her lamb was sure to go
    She brought her lamb to school one day;
    The kids let out loud jeers.
    The children took her lamb away
    And Mary choked on tears.
    Mary took the lamb back home
    Its fleece was red with blood.
    She held onto its broken bone
    And swore she’d hurt them good
    Mary knew that lambsblood called
    Things ancient, hidden, and deep.
    As Mary painted signs of old,
    Never again would she weep
    Mary had a little lamb;
    It made her something scary.
    Now I dare you, look in a mirror
    And whisper “bloody Mary.”

    Reply
  28. Adam Selzer

    Kilya's post above has been floating around tumblr for sometime, but I can't find a source on it (which is pretty typical for things like this on tumblr, which is sort of like a playground jungle of its own).

    Reply
  29. Rob

    I read a version in a 50s-vintage book which started off with the above-referenced "a little steak/a little ham" etc. but was rather longer. I don't remember much of the rest, except for a "A dozen raw, a plate of slaw," with a footnote to the raw reading "Oysters, of course, but that wouldn't rhyme." And the last line, which was, "For Mary had a little appetite!" Sorry, have no idea what the book was, it was just a second-hand paperback of jokes and humor.

    Reply
  30. Wendy Martyn

    Mary had a little lamb she thought it rather silly so she threw it in the air and caught it buy it's willy!

    Reply
  31. A.J.Rizor

    Mary had a little lamb
    A little pork, a little ham;
    A little egg, a little toast,
    Some pickles and a great big roast;
    An ice cream soda topped with fizz,
    And, oh, how sick our Mary is.

    Reply
  32. ghost

    Mary had a little lamb,
    She kept it in the yard;
    And every time Mary bent over,
    his woolly dick got hard!

    Reply
  33. Spooky

    Mary had a little pig
    It was as sweet as candy
    And every where that Mary went
    It followed fat and dandy
    One day it followed her to school
    And was quite forsaken
    The butcher caught it in the street
    And turned it into bacon.

    …I loved Brisbane in the 90’s.

    Reply
  34. Madge

    Mary had a little bike
    She rode it round for fun
    Every time the wheels went round
    The spokes went up her……..

    She also liked to ride her bike backwards but we won’t get in to that

    Reply

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