Sunday, March 04, 2018

Non-urban Legend

Partial repost from years ago.

One of my favorite stories, up in smoke. The idea that "Ring Around The Rosie" is actually about the plague – “all fall down” meaning falling over dead? It’s completely untrue. The first written versions of Ring Around Roses show up in the late 1800’s, some with posies and falling down, some not. But the Great Plague was in 1346, and later plagues didn’t have the sneezing part. It is not credible that a little poem would be passed down orally, unchanged for 500 years, then suddenly break into half-a-dozen versions that all get written down for the first time.

Darn. There are stories we wish were true.

1 comment:

james said...

Song or story appears and rapidly fragments?

Shoemaker studied the earliest stories of the assumption of Mary. Variant stories appear in a number of places without known antecedents. Did some more ancient lost story inspire them all (and if so why was it lost!?), or something more recent?