All Among the Heather and Mary Had a Little Lamb

Play recording: All Among the Heather and Mary Had a Little Lamb

view / hide recording details [+/-]

  • Teideal (Title): All Among the Heather and Mary Had a Little Lamb.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 841414.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 12969 (Up the Airy Mountain), 34590 (All Among the Heather), 13191 (The King was in the Parlour) ⁊ 7622 (Mary had a Little Lamb).
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle .
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Jill Linzee.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 14 December 1983.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Sanislo Elementary School, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): class.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

The fairies they are dancing by brake and by bower,
For this in their land is the merriment hour.
Their steps are soft, their robes are light,
And they trip at ease in the clear moonlight.

Up the airy mountain, down the little glen,
We dare not go a-skipping for fear of little men.
Tripping, skipping, dancing all together,
Singing and lilting all among the heather.

The king was in the parlour, counting out his money
The queen was in the bedroom, drinking milk and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes
When down came a blackbird and snapped off her nose!

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

He followed her to school one day
It was against the rules.
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb in school.

Soon the teacher turned him out
But still he lingered near.
And waited patiently about
‘Til Mary did appear.

“What made the lamb love Mary so?”
The eager children cried.
“Oh, Mary loved the lamb, you know.”
The teacher did reply.


Jill Linzee, a student at University of Washington who was interested in children’s songs, invited Joe to come and sing for a roomful of children at a local elementary school (similar to an Irish National School). The sound quality of this recording is not the best, owing to the fact that Joe is trying to help Jill organize (and motivate) the children into a round-dance.

The verses of these songs will be familiar to many people. The airs, however, may not be what you expect.