I love this video! It is utterly creepy and, curiously, about 99.9% of the lyrics actually fit my 4th novel, Psychic, though it’s not a horror story.
When I began Psychic, back in the haze of the past, this children’s rhyme popped into my head and wouldn’t leave. As I wrote the novel, the rhyme beautifully integrated itself into the story…and as I researched the rhyme, I found that its origins were also shrouded into its own “haze of the past.”
This link (thank you, Mandy Pratt!) covers a lot of ground, and is a great place to start in trying to uncover the ambiguous origin to these words. It seems greatly debated and bandied about. Even some conclusions seems “jumped to,” if you ask me. But, people are people, no matter if they were lab coats, swing a sledgehammer, or study folklore. We all have our opinions, based upon whatever information we base them upon.
Here are the lyrics I use in my novel:
Ring around the rosy,
A pocketful of posies,
We all fall down….
I did research the rhyme a little and did find there were different versions, which I found interesting, but given how I was going to use the rhyme, the above-chosen lyrics were perfect.
As the above link shows, there is great debate over the rhyme’s lyrics, but, sometimes, I feel, the most obvious is the answer, whether or not one can prove it. Whether it’s describing the Black Death of 1347 or the Great Plague of 1665, it does, indeed, seem to describe elements of a nasty disease. Perhaps it’s like our present-day version of cancer, where most people don’t even like to joke about it, lest they tempt the Fates themselves, maybe, back in the 1300s and 1600s it was so fresh in mind that most didn’t even want to attribute anything to it, whether it was a rhyme or a personal action. But one line in this link‘s analysis really gets me: “Moreover, in many versions, everyone gets up again once they have fallen down, which hardly makes sense if falling down represents death.”
Um, you’re kidding me, right?
Unless everyone whoever acts out this rhyme actually stays on the ground—forever—you can never really, totally act out “death.” The rhyme is representative, not literal.
As to why there are so many variants of the rhyme? Did you miss the part where the first version of the Plague had ravaged most of Europe? Yeah, there are multitudes of different cultures in Europe. Why wouldn’t there be different versions? Wouldn’t the curious mind more marvel at the fact that there were so many similar variants, instead? In fact, even in today’s world (and I maintain that people are people and we’re really not all that inherently different from our forefathers and mothers), today’s song writers, lyricists, novel writers, we all take and borrow from that which already exits and modify it—hell, look at me, what I’m doing with the rhyme, look at this video, above! It is the nature of things to change, to morph, for humans to want to modify and transform. To me (and I’m truly stunned at folklorists) that this is not factored into their historical equations! Especially with something as far-flung and widespread as the Plague.
And, maybe, the Plague was so known to the inhabitants of the post-Plague world that—to them—it was a given. That this minor little soon-to-be-nursery rhyme was inspired by the grisly events from which they had all just survived, and they had more important diary entries to worry about….
If it looks, smells, and feels like the Plague…yeaaah, maybe it really is the Plague….
In any event, I found and find all this debate fascinating. Even on a “Zen level,” without being able to document “hard evidence,” the nonphysical concept of the Plague maxed out the psyche of the world and found itself inspiring many forms of creativity without the purveyors realizing it…or maybe all the “creatives” did realize it, but never talked about it, or admitted to it in public. This would be akin to today’s world when one person writes a story and another feels they stole their idea, because, hey, they were writing about that, too, so the “only way” this could happen would be that the other somehow found out about the other’s work and plagiarized them. I truly believe that this happens more than people realize, buuut, we can’t prove this kind of thing in a court of law.
So, go ahead, replay the video, I know you want to (I’m gonna), and enjoy the stunning creepiness of a new take on the whole “ring around the rosies” controversy…and look out for Psychic, when it comes out, next week….
- Unearthing the Bones (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- A HUGE Thank You To All of You! (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- The Monroe Institute (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Psychic Cover Reveal! (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- The Ring (fpdorchakrealitycheck.wordpress.com)
- The Grape (fpdorchakrealitycheck.wordpress.com)
- The Unmaking of a Psychic (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Uninvited Blurbs Reinstated to Paperback (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- The Uninvited – Now In Paperback! (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- ERO – Trade Paperback Now Available! (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Wailing Loon (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Part 2 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Part 3 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Part 4 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Part 5 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Part 6 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Part 7 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Part 8 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Part 9 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Going Indie – What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Part 10 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)