Description The song "Ring-around-a-Rosy" is still popular today, often danced in a circle just as we see the monkeys doing here. Yet this seemingly lighthearted song has a dark past. The plague swept Europe during the 14th century, and the song's words actually refer to its terrible symptoms: a circular rose-colored rash, sneezing or coughing, and finally, death. Flower petals were worn in a pouch around the neck to keep the smell of death away. The song, then, seems very different in this context. Ring-a ring-o-rosies A pocket full of posies Achoo, Achoo, We all fall down.
- Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
- Checkmate! Medieval People at Play. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, after 1894, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, after 1894
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License