Behind-the-Scenes: Ring around the Rosy


Hello! Today I am doing a post on the huge epidemic of the mid-14th century that killed over 30-60% of the whole European population. The Black Death.  But instead of talking about the whole thing, there was something that struck me as strange, and I want to write about this one thing.

During the lesson I saw a sentence that showed that the nice, happy nursery rhyme we sang as kids (maybe you still sing it today?:) is actually based off the Black Death! How you ask?   Lets run through it and I will tell you what each line means.

🎶Ring around the Rosy — If you had the plague, you would have large boils on your skin and there would be a RING of inflammation around the ROSY boil, then the boil would turn black hence the name, Black Death.

🎶Pocket full of Posies — If you were walking around town you would be smelling death everywhere, so people would pick flowers and keep them close to their nose as to not smell the death.

🎶Ashes, Ashes we all fall down — People usually died after about three days of having the disease, and 1 out of every 2 people died so can you imagine how deaths there were? It made it a lot harder to keep up with burials so they burned many, many bodies which, in a way, was better because it burned the disease off. Also, the phrase, ‘we all fall down,’ means that everybody was dying and people thought that everybody would die. And when you die, you fall down. (metaphorically speaking:)

Well, now that you know some history behind this rhyme and this horrid plague you’ll know what it really means.

No need to tell your little cousins or siblings this;)

Thank you for taking a look at this post! I hope you like it.

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student

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