We often hear many children singing this song, while holding hands, moving in a circle with smiles on their faces. At the end of the song the children fall to the ground and usually get up and hold hands again to repeat the whole experience.
The lyrics of this song actually dates back to the Middle Ages.
In Europe, a third of the population died because they caught the Black Death.
Many people thought that they caught this disease because God was punishing them for their sins.
This disease was actually spread through rats.
If you listen to the actual words of this song, this is what they mean...
If you caught the Black Death, your skin would turn darker and form rings around your eyes.
A Pocket full of Posies
People would carry around dried flower pedals and herbs and hold it up to their nose because everything smelled so bad and they thought that the herbs could prevent them from catching the sickness.
Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down.
If you catch this sickness, you would die.
We think of this song as a joyful song, but in reality it is not joyful at all.