Download the MP3 file of the original recording.
I USED TO TEACH a Mass Communications module in our creative multimedia curriculum that credited Thomas Alva Edison with making the spoken words "Mary had a little lamb" into the first recording. In several of our textbooks, Thomas Edison holds the title of "father of recorded sound". This academic term, a French student pointed to the 10-second recording of a singer crooning the folk song "Au Clair de la Lune" from an archive in Paris. A group of American audio historians believes the recording was made on 9 April 1860, on a phonautograph, a machine designed to record sounds visually, not to play them back. But the phonautograph recording, or phonautogram, was made playable when scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory converted the squiggles on paper to sound.
Jody Rosen -- "Researchers find song recorded before Edison's phonograph" in the International Herald Tribune, 27 March 2008.
Photo by Isabelle Trocheris of the audio historian David Giovannoni with a recently discovered phonautogram that is among the earliest sound recordings.