A lot has been written about the origin of this seemingly innocent little children’s song. Supposedly, it refers to the grusome process of death. In fact, some authorities trace it all the way back to the Middle Ages, when the terrible Bubonic Plague was decimating Europe.
“Ring around the rosies” thus refers to the beginning of the process of infection, as little sores, or pustules, start to occur at the onset of the plague. “Pocket full of posies” refers to a popular treatment employed at the time: one that was thought to be able to ward off the mysterious disease.
Alas, though, in the end, many saw their terrible sores only worsen, and eventually turn black (“ashes”). This was inevitably followed by death. (Or else, the fact that their dead bodies were burned; and hence they were literally turned into ashes.)
Dr. Beehler points out that, in the end, death assures us that we will all fall down, we will all die. But the wonderful message of Easter is that “turning to ashes” is not our end. Death is not designed to be our ultimate destiny. How do we know this?
Because Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins on Good Friday. And then, God raised Him up from the grave three days later, on that first glorious Easter Sunday morning. And thus, death has been defeated!
Yes, “ashes, ashes, we all fall down”. But we do not stay down! No, my friend, we get up! Because of what happened that first Easter morning, praise God, each of us can now say, “Easter, Easter, we’re all raised up!”