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Ring Around the Rosies

Although typically considered to be just a myth, some feel this song aptly describes the "black plague;" i.e., "ring around the rosies" could refer to the red rash rings that those infected would get on their skin; "pocket full of posies" could refer to the fact that people would carry posies (a flower) in their pockets with the belief that this would keep the plague at bay; "ashes, ashes" might have originally been "Achoo, Achoo" to designate sneezing, another symptom; and "we all fall down" could refer to the many deaths that the disease caused.

(Start activity with children hold hands and dance around in a circle)

Ring around the rosies
A pocket full of posies;
Ashes, Ashes
All stand still.
(Children hold still)

The King has sent his daughter,
To fetch a pail of water;
(Children hold hands and dance around in a circle)
Ashes, Ashes
All fall down
. (Children fall to the floor)

The bird upon the steeple,
Sits high above the people;
(Children hold hands and dance around in a circle)
Ashes, Ashes
All kneel down
. (Children kneel)

The wedding bells are ringing,
The boys and girls are singing;
(Children hold hands and dance around in a circle)
Ashes, Ashes,
All fall down
. (Children fall to the floor)