“The Little Family”


Sisters Mary and Martha are deeply grieved when their brother Lazarus falls sick and dies. Jesus is informed that his friend Lazarus is sick, and hurries to Bethany. Finding the sisters weeping, he too weeps and raises Lazarus from the dead


This song closely parallels the account in John 11:1-44, with two exceptions. First, when Jesus heard Lazarus was sick, he did NOT hasten to Bethany, but sat around for two days (apparently to give the dead body a little extra time to rot!). Second, Jesus did not weep for Lazarus; he wept because of the hardness of heart of the Jews who did not think Lazarus would be raised. - RBW


  • Ollie Gilbert, "The Little Family" (on LomaxCD1704)


  1. Laws H7, "The Little Family"
  2. Belden, pp. 447-449, "The Little Family" (2 texts plus a mention of 1 more)
  3. Randolph 614, "The Little Family" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  4. Eddy 133, "The Little Family" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Gardner/Chickering 151, "The Little Family" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. JHCox 134, "The Little Family" (2 texts)
  7. BrownIII 610, "The Little Family" (1 text plus 1 excerpt and mention of 1 more; also assorted stanzas in the notes)
  8. Hudson 86, pp. 212-214, "The Little Family" (1 text)
  9. Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 195-196, "The Little Family" (1 text)
  10. Thomas-Makin', pp. 218-222, "The Little Family" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. Leach, pp. 734-736, "The Little Family" (1 text)
  12. McNeil-SFB2, pp. 132-133, "Lazarus" (1 text, 1 tune)
  13. Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 231-232, "[The Little Family]" (1 text, 1 tune)
  14. Chase, p. 183, "The Little Family" (1 text, 1 tune)
  15. DT 647, LAZRUS
  16. Roud #656
  17. BI, LH07


Alternate titles: “Mary and Martha”; “Martha and Mary”; “Mary, Martha, and Lazarus”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1906 (Belden, from a manuscript probably from 1865; Hudson's ms. was dated 1862)
Found in: US(Ap,MW,SE,So)