The Black Death.
2 thoughts on ““Ring around the Rosie” Is Not about the Black Death, Nor Has It Ever Been”
Although many sing this innocently and for fun, it is really about one of the deadliest epidemics in all of history — the Black Death. The opening words, "Ring around the Rosy," represent the skin lesion associated with the disease that appears as a bright red, or rosy, ulcerated spot surrounded by a ring. Turn, Turn Around. Ring-a Ring-a Raja.
Over 80 songs and rhymes, in Italian with translations into English. Many people believe this song is about The Great Plague of London.
Ring Around the Rosie
That the roses refer to a rash. That the posies are kept in the pocket due to a superstition that it prevented the plague. In the British version they say "a-tishoo" which is the sound of a sneeze. Then they all fall down dead. This idea that the song refers to a plague is not believed by folklorists. Firstly, the song is not seen in print until two centuries after the plague.
Ring a Ring o’ Roses
Why would it not be found in print with other literature that exists from the time? Secondly, the first time the theory is mentioned in print is in Why wouldn't any of the early folklorists of children's music have mentioned it when they published the song?
The best explanation I've seen is that it's folklore about folklore. It's what folklorists call "metafolklore".
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Let's just admit it's a really good yarn! If you know a version that you don't see here, let us know!
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Ring Around the Rosie — Lisa Loeb
This parsley tart is like a burst of springtime! It's so fresh tasting You'll find the recipe below along with some notes about tart pans and puff pastry dough About the Tart Pan The difference between a tart pan [ Dennis Heaton wrote asking for help with a song that's possibly Native American. It's possibly it's an American counting-out song for choosing who's It in a game. It has that kind of rhythm. Here's his email, followed by the lyrics and a YouTube of his relatives singing the song It means that we hang our knitted sweaters and coats out so they can get some air.
The first published version is from Kate Greenaway's Mother Goose This is the first time the rhyme appears in a Mother Goose collection:. In the fascinating and entertaining article I cite again and again, Philip Hiscock speculates: Although Greenaway probably put it into print because of her knowledge of John Ruskin's obsession with a little girl he called his "Posie Rosie" and Greenaway's own obsession at that time of her life with Ruskin that's another story But her version became the standard from which most later oral versions derive.
She has as the third line "Hush! Intermediate forms are "Husha husha," and "Asha, asha," as well as others.
gelatocottage.sg/includes/2020-01-14/2357.php Back to the FAQ Personally, I find that the wide variations in 19th and early 20th century versions of the rhyme is by itself a strong argument against the plague interpretation, especially when you see how far these rhymes are from the version s we all know now.
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