Ring a ring of rosies is a nursery rhyme with lyrics reflecting the symptoms of the great plague of London history in 1665

"A Nursery Rhyme,
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Ring a ring o' rosies: lyrics

Origins in English History
The lyrics to this nursery rhyme has its origins as a children's ring game. The period in history  dates back to the great plague of London in 1665 (bubonic plague). The symptoms of the plague included a raised red rash on the skin (Ring a ring o' rosies) and violent sneezing (Atishoo, Atishoo) A pouch of sweet smelling herbs or posies were carried due to the belief that the disease was transmitted by bad smells. The death rate was over 60% and the plage was only halted by the Great Fire of London in 1666 which killed the rats which carried the disease which had been transmitting it to water sources.


Ring a ring o' rosies
A pocketful of posies
"Atishoo, Atishoo"
We all fall down!

Ring a ring o' rosies rhyme: origins & history