Ring Around the Rosy Rhyme, Activity and History

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Ring around the rosy,

A pocket full of posies;

Ashes, ashes

We all fall down.



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Everyone hold hands in a circle. As you sing the nursery rhyme lyrics, everyone walks or skips one direction. When you sing "we all fall down" that's what you do! Everyone fall down!

Little kids love to do this over and over again. Do this as a family and laugh with the little ones as they ask, "again, again!"


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Many nursery rhyme lyrics have history and meaning to them and this one does too. It's not a very happy story though.

It's about the Bubonic Plague that struck Europe in the 1300's and killed a third of the people in Europe. The Bubonic Plague was caused by a bacteria that was carried by fleas.

This Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme described what happened when someone got the infection. Their cheeks would turn rosy and they would get sick and smell bad. Posies were put in the pockets of the sick people to help the smell.

Then they would "fall down" meaning they would die.

Pretty awful huh? To hear happier nursery rhyme lyrics with no sad history click here!

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