DISCUSSION TOPIC: NURSERY RHYMES AND "RING AROUND THE ROSEY"This nursery rhyme originated during the worst pandemics of Black Plague in Europe, when over half the population of that area died. The ring is thought to refer to the dark ring that surrounded the red welt--a first sign that you had contracted the rat borne bacteria. Posies are large growths that formed in the groin area of plague victims (hence "pocketful of posies"). Note: This has been the usual way this dark rhyme has been explained. Learn later in class how researchers are now questioning this interpretation.

In fact, if you examine many traditional nursery rhythms they have a very negative theme e.g. "Jack fell down and broke his crown," "the cradle will fall, and down will come baby, cradle and all," "Humpty Dumpty had a great fall." What are we to make of this? I have an idea, but I'd like to hear your input. I can also provide plausible explanations for the origins of many of these nursery rhymes, which I'll do after the assignment is completed. Fascinating, really!