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Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses

08 May 00 - 04:18 PM (#224798)
Subject: Ring-a-ring-a-rosies
From: GUEST,

I know the first verse of this one, and am looking for the second, I know that it ended something like "we all jump up"

here's the 1st verse (as I remember it!)
    Ring a ring a the rosie
    Pockets full of posies
    Atishoo, atishoo
    We all fall down
any help greatfully recieved!


08 May 00 - 04:23 PM (#224801)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses

Opie's, 'The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes', but they give no common 2nd verse.

08 May 00 - 04:26 PM (#224804)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: MMario

Never seen or heard a second verse.....If you locate one, please post?

08 May 00 - 05:17 PM (#224829)
Subject: Ring Around the Rosy
From: Joe Offer

Hi - I think our guest is cheating us with the reference to The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. The book has two full pages on this song. While there is indeed only one verse, there are several verions, and lots of variations on the ending. I'll post several versions from the Opie book below.
I learned it in the 1950's in Detroit as
Ring around the rosy
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down.
That, of course, is the correct version.
-Joe Offer-

08 May 00 - 05:25 PM (#224835)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Rana who SHOULD be working


Interesting to see the subsequent different verses, which presumably would have come at a much later date. Since Ring a ring a'roses was about the Plague and I would have been surprised at anybody jumping up after contracting the Black Death.

Regards Rana

08 May 00 - 05:27 PM (#224836)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Joe Offer

Oh, the Opie stuff is just too good. My scanner doesn't pick up all the non-English characters, but here's an approximation of the ending section:
Mother Goose, Kate Greenaway, 1881, 'Hush! hush! hush! hush! We're all tumbled down' / Shropshire Folk-Lore, C. S. Burne, 1883, 'One for Jack, and one for Jim, and one for little Moses - A-tisha! a-tisha! a-tisha!' also varia ending 'A curchey in, and a curchey out, And a curchey all together' / Newell, 1883, as quotes / Sheffield Glossary, S. 0. Addy, 1888, varia / Gomme, 1898, varia including 'Ring a ring o' roses, A pocket-full o' posies; One for me, and one for you, And one for little Moses - Hasher, Hasher, Hasher, all fall down' / Mother Goose, Arthur Rackham, 1913 / What the Children Sing, Alfred Moffat, 1915, 'A ring, a ring o' roses, A pocket full of posies, Ash-a! Ash-a! All stand still. The King has sent his daughter To fetch a pail of water, Ash-a! Ash-a! All bow down. The bird above the steeple Sits high above the people, Ash-a! Ash-a! All kneel down. The wedding bells are ringing, And boys and girls are singing, Ash-a! Ash-a! All fall down' / Oral collection, 1947, as quote.

Cf. Folk-lore, 1882, 'Here we go round by ring, by ring, As ladies do in Yorkshire; A curtsey here, a curtsey there, A curtsey to the ground, sir' I Das deutsche Kinderbuch, Karl Simrock, 1848, 'Ringel, Ringel Reihe! Sind der Kinder dreie. Sitzen auf dem Holderbusch, Schreien alle musch musch musch: Sitzt nieder! Sitzt ne Frau im Ringelein, Mit sieben kleinen Kinderlein. Was essens gerne? Fischlein. Was trinkens gerne? Rothen Wein. Sitzt nieder!', also rhyme beginning 'Ringel Ringel Rosenkranz' / Alemannisches Kinderlied, E. L. Rochholz, 1857 / Reime derKinder in Oesterreich, 1. Vernaleben, 1873 / Chants Populaire du Languedoc, L. Lambert, 1906, 'Branle, calandre, La Fille d'Alexandre, La pêche bien mûre, La figue bien mûre, Le rosier tout fleuri, Coucou toupi! - En disant "coucou toupi", tous les enfants, qui forment la ronde, s'accroupissent' / American Folk Lore, 1897, Swiss, 'Randin, picotin, La Marie a fait son pain, Pas plus gros que son levain. Pugh! dans l'eau.' Last one down is it / Children's Games throughout the Year, L. Daiken, 1949, from County Donegal, 'Here we go round the Jingo Ring, Jingo Ring, Jingo Ring, Here we go round the Jingo Ring And the last pops down!' Also cf. the Gaelic 'Bulla! Bulla! Baisín, Ta'n bo sa gùirdín. Síos libh! !Síos libh! Éirigidh anois, Éirigidh! Déanam arís é. (Clap! Clap! Hands, The cow is in the garden. Down ye go! Down ye go! Get up now, get up! Let's do it again.)'

Parody: The Observer, 9 Jan. 1949, 'Ring-a-ring-o'-geranium, A pocket full of uranium, Hiro, shima, All fall down!'
-Joe Offer-

08 May 00 - 05:41 PM (#224844)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses

I don't think any modern folklorist would accept any association of the song with the plague. Steve Roud, Secretary of the Folklore Society, London, specifically denounced that association several months ago on a subscription newsgroup.

08 May 00 - 05:45 PM (#224847)
Subject: Ring around the rosy
From: Joe Offer

I'm sure the Opies and I mean no offense to Rana, but we disagree with her comments about the plague. Let me put the scanner to work and post the rest of the article.
-Joe Offer-
Ring-a-ring o' roses,
A pocket full of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all fall down.
The words of this little ring-song seem to be becoming standardized though this was not so a hundred years ago when Lady Gomme was collecting (ante 1898). Of the twelve versions she gathered only one was similar to the above. Although 'Ring-a-ring o' roses' is now one of the most popular nursery games - the song which instantly rises from the lips of small children whenever they join hands in a circle - the words were not known to Halliwell, and have not been found in children's literature before 1881. Newell, however, says that,
Ring a ring a rosie,
A bottle full of posie,
All the girls in our town,
Ring for little Josie,
was current to the familiar tune in New Bedford, Massachusetts, about 1790. The 'A-tishoo' is notably absent here, as it is also in other versions he gives, in which the players squat or stoop rather than fall down:
Round the ring of roses,
Pots full of posies,
The one who stoops last
Shall tell whom she loves best.
The invariable sneezing and falling down in modern English versions has given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the days of the Great Plague. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, posies of herbs were carried as protection, sneezing was a final fatal symptom, and 'all fall down' was exactly what happened. It would be more delightful to recall the old belief that gifted children had the power to laugh roses (Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie). The foreign and nineteenth-century versions seem to show that the fall was originally a curtsy or other gracious movement of a ring game (see I. and P. Opie, The Singing Game). A sequel rhyme which enabled the players to rise to their feet again was in vogue in the 1940s:
The cows are in the meadow
Lying fast asleep,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all get up again.

08 May 00 - 05:54 PM (#224856)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Rana who SHOULD be working

Hi Joe,

No offense has been taken - I am perfectly happy to be corrected on this. I have no evidence for the Plague connection apart from what I have been told in the past which indeed was the rosy rash, the posies, the sneezing and falling down. I'm sure arguements will continue as to the source for years to come.

Regards Rana

as HE goes off to Morris practice not wishing to open up the origins of that again.

08 May 00 - 05:56 PM (#224859)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Joe Offer


Sorry, Mr. Rana...
-Joe Bumble-

09 May 00 - 12:13 AM (#225021)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: alison

My kids sing this second verse

the cows are in the meadows
eating buttercups
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all jump up.

I always heard the Bubonic Plague story about the original verse....



09 May 00 - 02:02 PM (#225304)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: GUEST,

thanks folks, that was indeed the second verse that I knew!

I used to sing it when i was smaller, and had always thought that it was to do with the plague, humm, might look into that one!

thanks again Jonathan Chandler

10 May 00 - 10:42 AM (#225795)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: GUEST,art

just as an addendum buttercup syrup was thought to be a cure for the plague

11 May 00 - 03:39 PM (#226613)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Joe Offer

In his "thread of the day" remarks, Dale Rose pointed out this thread and mentioned that there's a well-known painting by Victorian artist Frederick Morgan, called RING-A-RING-A-ROSES (click), or Click for larger picture.
-Joe Offer-

11 May 00 - 04:03 PM (#226631)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Melbert

The version which my mum sang to me whilst bouncing me on her knee, and which we now sing to our Grandchildren has a second verse which goes:

Ashes in the water,
Ashes in the sea
Up we jump with a 1-2-3

13 Mar 05 - 02:10 AM (#1433499)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: GUEST,Cali

This is what I've heard.

The cows are in the meadow
Eating all the daisies
Thunder, lighting
We all stand up

I've heard it refers to the Plague too. The ashes help the daisies grow. Thunder and lightning refer to God. And standing up again refers to resurrecting.

13 Mar 05 - 11:24 AM (#1433660)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Bernard

The version we sing around these parts (Bolton, Lancashire, England) is:

A pocketful of posies
Atishoo, atishoo,
We all fall down.

Fishes in the water,
Fishes in the sea,
We all jump up
With a one-two-three!

Methinks most 'regional variations' can be ascribed to 'Chinese Whispers'!!

13 Mar 05 - 01:22 PM (#1433719)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Thanks for the 'fishes' verse which is not in Opies' "The Singing Game." It shows that the rhyme is still adding variants.

Associating the plague with this 19th c. singing game, however, is nonsense, as has been shown here in more than one thread. Twentieth-century mythologists, as the Opies' call them, are responsible for this fiction.

05 Apr 05 - 08:57 PM (#1453183)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses

I alway head it like this:

Ring around the rosy
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down.

02 May 05 - 03:28 PM (#1476669)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: GUEST,Natalie

I think the second verse;

"Ashes in the water,
Ashes in the sea,
We all jump up with a,
one - two - three"

Must be regional variaton from the midlands

04 May 05 - 05:49 AM (#1477680)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: GUEST,Muttley

I'd like to support Rana on this one - being somewhat of a history student of Mediaeval times and earlier.

Ring O' Roses (the original title) has been a doggerel in many forms over the past 3-&-1/2 Centuries. It was indeed a childrens chant in the early 18th Century and referred to the Plague. However, the popular notion of it being the "Black Plague" is erroneous. It is actually a combination of two plagues evident in the 17th Century. The Black Death (Bubonic Plague) was accompanied by an even more insidious disease - The Pneumonic Plague - most Bubonic victims also got the latter as their bodily defences crumbled and then it was a race to see which version would carry off the sufferer first.

The "Roses" were the circular rash marks which preceded the 'Buboes' for which the Bubonic Plague was named.
The "Posies" were the bunches of herbs physicians carried to ward off the disease (it was believed that disease was spread by smell and that a 'posy' consisting of Thyme, Sage, Lavender and Rosemary would protect the 'good doctor' from contracting the malady from his patients
The "Atishoo" (sneezing, obviously) was a reference to the chest infections - frequently the announced arrival of the 'companionable' Pneumonic sidekick - which beset the victim in the plague's middle and lattter stages.
"We All Fall Down" referred to the death of the victim. It was done "as a group" because that is how the disease progressed - killing entire streets / "suburbs" / villages at a time.

The "Ashes, Ashes" reference to the second-last line was an American corruption of the English original and was recorded as such by "Mother Goose" Other cultures have their own versions - I know the French certainly do as my wife is French and her mother has chanted her "Southern French" version a few times in response to occasional conversations. As a (basically) peasant from the Provence region she is the inheritor of a rich oral history / folkloric tradition. Her interpretation is that the French version of this rhyme has come down to her over literally hundreds of years. (The South of France was also hit heavily - despite it "ruralness" - by both plagues; predominantly thanks to its unenviable (in this case) to the major fishing and trading ports of Marseille, Sete and (the only very slightly inland) Montpellier.


Go Rana - I still think you are correct

04 May 05 - 11:59 AM (#1477932)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Malcolm Douglas

It's one of those modern myths that will never go away, however often it's pointed out that there's no evidence to support it. Probably everything that can be said on that aspect has already been said in the various past discussions here (see list above).

It would be interesting to see the French analogue you mention. Would you be able to post it here?

04 May 05 - 03:57 PM (#1478127)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: Little Robyn

Bernard, your version from Bolton, Lancashire is exactly the way I've heard it here in New Zealand - both in Wellington and in Hawke's Bay.

19 Dec 08 - 06:31 PM (#2520198)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses

We said it:

Ring around the rosie
A pocket full of posies
Hush-a, hush-a
We all fall down!

08 Apr 10 - 09:31 AM (#2882085)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ring-a-ring-of-roses
From: GUEST,Allen

I'm from California. I was born in 1986 and was looked after in part by an English lady from Manchester. I can't remember for sure but I believe she taught me the rhyme as well as the game.

Ring around the rosey
Pockets full of posies
Ashes to ashes
We all fall down...

It was played in a circle holding hands. The last person to sit or lie down on "DEAD" was out. You were also out if you went down on "down". The last person left won.