Nursery Rhymes

Mary had a Pretty Bird

The origins of the Nursery Rhyme, Mary had a pretty bird, have not been established.

Can you help us identify the the place of origin or history of this lesser known children's nursery rhyme?

The History of the Canary

The Nursery Rhyme is about the canary, the most widely kept pet singing bird.

The Canary bird is named after the Canary Islands.

Due to the era of Explorations in the 16th Century canary birds were taken back to the courts of Europe.

The practice of taking Canaries to work originated during the Industrial Revolution when their musical song could be heard above the sounds of loud machinery.

This practice is most associated with taking canaries down coal mines where the birds would die if exposed to gas fumes thus warning the miners that they were in danger.

Mary had a Pretty Bird
Nursery Rhyme lyrics, origins and history

Mary had a pretty bird,
Feathers bright and yellow,
Slender legs, upon my word
He was a pretty fellow.

The sweetest notes he always sung,
Which much delighted Mary,
And often where the cage was hung,
She stood to hear Canary.

Mary had a Pretty Bird
Nursery Rhyme lyrics, origins and history

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Note: A Rhymes lyrics and the perceived origins of some Nursery Rhymes vary according to location

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