Origin and Meaning Of Ring A Ring O Roses

"Ring a Ring o"™ Roses", also popularly known as "Ring Around the Rosie" and "Ring a Ring o"™ Rosie" is one of the popular nursery rhymes and singing games. The folk song appeared in 1881, but the historians believe that a version of the rhyme was already sung to the existing tune in the 1790s. Moreover, similar nursery rhymes were also known in many parts of Europe.
Origin and Meaning Of Ring A Ring O RosesYoutube


Meaning and origins
Various theories have been advanced to explain the origins and meaning of the nursery rhyme. Moreover, it is still a subject to speculation. "Rosie" was referred to the French word rose in "Games and Songs of American Children".

In A Dictionary of British Folklore, it has explained that the game was of pagan origin, based on the Sheffield Glossary.
 
Since the 20th century, the song is usually associated with the Great Plague which occurred in England in 1665.
The origin finder related the rhyme to the Great Plague, because of the sneezing and falling down used in the modern versions of the rhymes.

Some origin finders believe that "Ashes, Ashes" in the colonial version of the poem refer to the burning of victim"™s houses, and blackening of skin.
Folklore scholars believe that the theory is unsubstantiated on the grounds:
  • The theory related to plague did not appear until the mid-twentieth century
  • The symptoms mentioned do not fit especially with the Great Plague
  • The word "fall" used in the nineteenth-century versions of "Ring a Ring o"™ Roses" song was not a literal falling down, it"™s just a curtsy or other form of bending movement, which was common in other singing games as well.
  • Various available versions of the rhyme make it unconfirmed that the available version is the most ancient one. Moreover, the few words in the lyrics, on which the theories have been advanced are not found in many of the earliest records of the poem.

Variations in lyrics
An early version of the song appeared in The Old Homestead by Ann S. Stephens which was as follows:
A ring "“ a ring of roses,
Laps full of posies;
Awake "“ awake!
Now come and make
A ring "“ a ring of roses

Another version of the nursery rhymes was printed in Mother Goose or the Old Nursery Rhymes. The lyrics were as follows:
Ring-a-ring-a-roses,
A pocket full of posies;
Hush! hush! hush! hush!
We're all tumbled down

A different version of "Ring a Ring o"™ Roses" song was published in the book of Godey"™s Lady.
Ring around a rosy
Pocket full of posies.
One, two, three"”squat!

One of the variations was printed in William Wells Newell"™s Games and Songs of American Children (1883).
Ring a ring a Rosie,
A bottle full of posie,
All the girls in our town
Ring for little Josie.

One of the versions appeared in the collection of Shropshire folk-lore in 1883 which goes as follow:
A ring, a ring o' roses,
A pocket-full o' posies;
One for Jack and one for Jim and one for little Moses!
A-tisha! a-tisha! a-tisha!

A manuscript of nursery rhymes collected in Lancashire gives three similar versions with the now familiar sneezing. For example:
A ring, a ring o' roses,
A pocket full o' posies-
Atishoo atishoo we all fall down

Circle game for kids
The singing game has been an important part of childhood culture. "Ring a Ring o"™ Roses" is the simplest, and perhaps the most popular circle dance. A set of actions and movements are performed while singing the rhyme.

"Ring a Ring o"™ Roses" is one of the popular singing games enjoyed by the kids across the world. Singing is often accompanied by a set of delightful activities and movements to keep the little ones entertained and amused. Players form a ring around one player and stoop at the final line of the poem. The player who is slowest to do so has to face a penalty by taking their place in the center of the ring.