memories · opinion · Two Shoes Tuesday · Uncategorized

Rosies and posies…


Ring-a round the rosie
A pocket full of posies
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.

I remember singing this rhyme, whirling around and falling down.
In kindergarten and first grade it was great fun on the playground.

I learned that it was a rhyme that referred to plagues in the middle ages.
It was said that there was a rosy rash, sneezing, and coughing with the plague.
People carried posies of herbs in their pockets to ward off the disease and the smell.
“All fall down” is what people did when they got the plague and died.
Ashes to ashes alluded to cremation of the bodies.

This is what I learned but it seems I learned wrong.
Today, most folklore experts say it’s all hooey.

I don’t care.
I like the explanation I was taught and I’m sticking with it.

Click on the shoes to see what others have to say.
Click on the shoes to see what others have to say.

Josie’s prompts this week are refuge and ring.

Image: wikipedia

18 thoughts on “Rosies and posies…

    1. If it is too depressing forget what you read here and just remember the fun you had playing the game. That’s what I would do.

  1. I was taught it meant that too! I never heard it was hooey… huh??? Sometimes I think I must live in a cave…I like Ann am always surprised at the storylines of most fairlytales!

  2. What a great choice for the TST “ring” prompt, Patricia, I never would have thought of that one! I suppose we’ll never know for sure, but I’ve heard this same explanation and it’s plausible, since such rhymes were often based on things familiar or feared. We also have the “boogie man” and “monster in the bed” stories told by parents in more recent times, and I even know a couple kids who were terrified by the thought of a Tooth Fairy sneaking into their rooms and putting her hand under their pillow while they slept! Whatever the origins, it was a fun game to play when we were small, and it will probably be running thru my head for the rest of the day now! :-))

    1. I seem to be stretching on the TST prompts. But it is fun. I never heard of anyone being afraid of the tooth fairy but when I think about it it is sorta creepy.

  3. We sang the third line as, Ah-tish-oo! Ah-tish-oo! we all fall down! Which again talks of the symptoms and death.

  4. I’m with you, Patricia.

    At times, we read more into a poem than, perhaps, the poet had in mind. Other times, the poet had more in mind than we’re able to discern from the words standing alone.

    The value of poetry lies less in what the poet said, and more in how we relate to it.

    1. Somewhere along the way I did some study about fairy tales and rhymes. This is probably the only thing I remember.

  5. It is interesting how so many of the children’s verses that we grew up with had questionable storylines. Mother Goose had some wicked stories. But we did come out okay. Of course, we can rewrite the scary ones now…if we want to.

    1. Some fairy tales are definitely spooky. I think the current fairy tales are tamer but then there are some scary graphic novels for kids. Give me Dr Suess any day..

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