Ring Around the Rosy

Ring Around the Rosy

Ring Around the Rosy
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down!


There are many different alternates to this rhyme; the rhyme above is the most modern version.

A more traditional version goes:

Ring-a-ring o’ roses,
A pocket full of posies,
Achoo!, Achoo!
We all fall down.

This innocent sounding rhyme, first appearing in the 1881 book Mother Goose, is actually a much older chant that goes back to the 1660s and is thought to be about the Plague of London which killed 70,000 of the 460,000 residents.

  • “Ring-a-ring o’ roses” refers to the rosy colored rash one would get. An early symptom of the plague.
  • “Pocket full of posies” refers to the medicine and herbs people carried in their pockets to prevent the plague.
  • “Achoo! Achoo! We all fall down” are the last sneezes of the person and collapse of one who had died.