Ring-a-round the roses, A pocket full of posies, Kohuru! We've all tumbled down. A reference to a young children's game named Ring o' Roses occurs in an article from the Brooklyn Eagle. A group of young children the eldest being about seven form a ring, from which a boy takes out a girl and kisses her. Stephens :. A ring — a ring of roses, Laps full of posies; Awake — awake! Now come and make A ring — a ring of roses. The novel goes on to describe a nineteenth-century Fourth of July celebration by children housed in a hospital in Roosevelt Island, New York then known as "Blackwell's Island" : 'Then the little girls began to seek their own amusements.
They played "hide and seek," "ring, ring a rosy," and a thousand wild and pretty games'. Ring-a-ring-a-roses, A pocket full of posies ; Hush! We're all tumbled down. In , Godey's Lady's Book has the following version:. Ring around a rosy Pocket full of posies. One, two, three—squat!
Debunking Ring a Ring a Roses
Before the last line, the children stop suddenly, then exclaim it together, "suiting the action to the word with unfailing hilarity and complete satisfaction". In his Games and Songs of American Children , William Wells Newell reports several variants, one of which he provides with a melody and dates to New Bedford, Massachusetts around Newell writes that '[a]t the end of the words the children suddenly stoop, and the last to get down undergoes some penalty, or has to take the place of the child in the centre, who represents the "rosie" rose-tree; French, rosier.
An collection of Shropshire folk-lore includes the following version:. A ring, a ring o' roses, A pocket-full o' posies; One for Jack and one for Jim and one for little Moses! On the last line "they stand and imitate sneezing". A manuscript of rhymes collected in Lancashire at the same period gives three closely related versions, with the now familiar sneezing, for instance:. A ring, a ring o' roses, A pocket full o' posies- Atishoo atishoo we all fall down.
What rhymes with roses?
In , folklorist Alice Gomme could give twelve versions. A German rhyme first printed in closely resembles "Ring a ring o'roses" in its first stanza  and accompanies the same actions with sitting rather than falling as the concluding action : . Ringel ringel reihen, Wir sind der Kinder dreien, sitzen unter'm Hollerbusch Und machen alle Husch husch husch!
Loosely translated this says "Ringed, ringed row. We are three children, sitting under an elder bush. All of us going hush, hush, hush!
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Trivia About Rhymes and Roses. No trivia or quizzes yet. Welcome back. Despite the proliferation of explanations for the meanings and origins of nursery rhymes, many, if not most, are unfounded. Since the s, but not before, it has often been said that the nursery rhyme Ring a Ring o Rosie is about the bubonic plague in England.
The explanation goes that the roses refer to a rosy rash, which is said to be a symptom of the plague; that children would hold a posy of herbs to ward off the plague or its smell; and that sneezing is a reference to plague symptoms. But these symptoms are mild compared to actual onset of the plague, which doesn't involve a rosy rash. Furthermore, there are many versions of the rhyme, some of which don't refer to sneezing. The nursery rhyme was first written down in Kate Greenaway's edition of Mother Goose.
At that time, ideas about its origins pointed to pagan beginnings. A number of different explanations have been put forward about the meaning of Humpty Dumpty.
The story goes that this cannon was on top of the wall when the wall was damaged by fire from a parliamentary cannon. Humpty Dumpty fell down It's nice to think that this seemingly innocent children's rhyme actually refers to an historical event. However, once again, there's little solid basis for this theory. The earliest versions don't mention king's horses or king's men, and instead say four-score men and four-score more.
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It's more likely that the rhyme is a riddle: the aim is to figure out what exactly "Humpty Dumpty" is. For what it's worth, the first time he was depicted as an egg was in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. It seems the more innocent the rhyme, the bloodier the theory. Well respected folklorists Iona Opie and Peter Opie, authors of The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, do not give much credence to these theories, comparing them to urban myths.
But the Opies believe that London Bridge is Falling Down may well be based on a bridge that actually crumbled, although there's no specific historical reference. Interestingly, there are similar examples of this rhyme in other languages, suggesting a universal experience of failed bridges.
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One version is dated to around the s and featured "three maids in a tub". We know it now as "three men in a tub", so it's possible that the original version referred men watching women in compromising positions and having a bit too much fun doing it.