Chapter 15 of A SHARE IN DEATH(mystery story)begins this way,
Suffolk to Sussex to Wiltshire to Oxfordshire, ring around the roses. It made Gemma dizzy to think of the past two days. And tired. (Gemma: Gemma James, a female sergeant, in London.)
What does the phrase "ring around the roses" mean? No clues in the context. You would say it is a nursery rhyme or folksong and playground singing game….….. But for lack of knowledge, I don’t understand the phrase in this context.
I’ve also come across it in the following passage. I wonder the first phrase is the same as the second one in meaning. Please give me your advice.
Dcfs has been studying us because we can’t get it together. I’m wacked out of my brain. I can see my day coming when I’m out of my situation. I can see my day coming when I’m out and I’m actually moving around. I can go on and on but by now it’s starting to make sense. It’s like Ring around the roses, people have been getting over and over and right now I’m just getting by. I need to make a change. (Taken from Hairology)
DCFS=Department of Children & Family Services