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Game, Rhyme

Ring Around The Rosie

Rosy Posies

I was at work when another co-worker of mine suggested that I look into that old children’s game, Ring Around The Rosie. Her name is Kristen, and when I asked her why she explained that she had head it “had something to do with the black plague.”
So, I looked it up. I remembered playing the game when I was a kid, holding hands with my peers and the exhilaration I felt before letting my legs out and dropping to the grass in laughter.
Line by line, the old rhyme can be analyzed and connected to the Black Death bubonic plague that swept through Europe, Asia, and Africa in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Apparently, the first line refers rose-colored puss boils that people would get all of their body at the start of infection, which would eventually become encircled by dark rings.
The second line refers to the custom of putting posies in the pockets of those killed by the plague, in order to warn people from going near the body, because the disease was extremely contagious.
“Ashes, Ashes” refers to the ashes of the dead, because those who died of the disease would eventually be burned to ashes in order to stop the spread of the Black Death.
The last line, “We all fall down” refers to peoples fear that the disease would wipe out the entire population of the earth. Almost everyone knew someone who died of the disease, and it wiped out a large portion of the population.

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