Ring-a-ring o’ roses,
A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down.
It all seemed to me just a rhyme , until I watched season finale of C.S.I Miami Season 8 , It is tempting, of course, to see a plague as the source of the rhyme . As said , the history lies in every corner , in classic poems , in many forms….
The interpretation goes somehow in this way : The “roses” could plausibly refer to the rash that always accompanies the disease, the “posies” to herbs and spices used to sweeten the air, while “a-tishoo” would represent the sneezing, and “we all fall down” would imply inevitable death. A related conjecture would have it that the “ring” referred to the red spot that marked the onset of the disease.
The line “Ashes, Ashes” in colonial versions of the rhyme is claimed to refer variously to cremation of the bodies, the burning of victims’ houses, or blackening of their skin, and the theory has been adapted to be applied to other versions of the rhyme.
Once the disease took a hold it spread with frightening speed. Those who could, the wealthy, left London for the comparative safety of the countryside. No such option existed for those who lived in the slums. In fact, militiamen were paid by the city’s council to guard the parish boundaries of the area they lived in and to let no one out unless they had a certificate to leave from their local parish leader. Very few of these certificates were issued.
Cures for the plague were pointless but sought after if someone had the money to pay for them. Nathaniel Hodges believed that sweating out the disease was a sound approach and he encouraged those victims he came across to burn anything they could to create heat and smoke. In view of the fact that Londoners lived in wooden houses then, this was not particularly sound advice even from a proper doctor. However, many were desperate to try anything.
The end of the plague as a major killer only occurred with the Great Fire Of London – the city’s second tragedy in two years. The fire devastated the filthy city areas where rats had prospered. The rebuilt London was more spacious and open. Never again was the city going to be affected so badly by this disease.
Altogether there are also many folklore scholars which do not agree the link between the rhyme & the Great plague , so i want comment on that , but to me this interpretation seems quite convincing , but it might happen to be a coincidence that it got all match with the words.
In C.S.I way : All Match Found