Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ring around the rosy

"Ring around the rosy,
Pocket full of posy,
Ashes, ashes,
We all fall down."
A rhyme we all sang as children turns out not to be as innocent as we thought! According to some historians, this rhyme first became popular in the mid-1300s, during the Black Death. One of the first symptoms of the disease was the development of rings around rosy buboes. Posies were held to clear the bad air (miasma theory) and protect from the disease and death. "Ashes, ashes" represent sneezing, because apparently as death approached, victims would sneeze violently. And the last line, pretty self-explanatory, signifies death.

1 comment:

John Latto said...

But check out the comments on

They conclude that this interpretation is just that, a latter day interpretation of a rhyme that has been around for a long time and means, like many childrens' rhymes, not very much!