Ring O Roses -my earliest memory of this is from being in the school yard and we were just in a circle dancing around and singing this. I have no memory of who taught me this. I think I may have passed this onto my niece at some point because we use to hold hands and walk in a circle.
How does a new folk song develop? A songwriter will come up with lyrics which reflect something which has happened in the world at the time and they feel they can pass the story on through the medium of music. The songs are repeated and sung and people learn the lyrics like they would a traditional pop song and continue to sing to others. In a world of modern technology like we have today, the new folk songs may be recorded onto different medium and be replayed over and over again. It is up to others to replicate this as they see fit but in essence it would be learning the worlds and the tune and singing it. Also new folk songs could be adapted from prose written by writers old and new and turned into songs telling events and as they are recorded being passed on to the next next generation.
There are many contemporary folk songs and artists who are synonymous with them are Suzanne Vega, Billy Bragg, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Billy Bragg for example is especially known for his very political songs and his activism for the Labour Party.
Ring O Roses
Ring-a-ring o’ roses,
A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down.
I would say that this contains 5 phrases – the melody is simple and I think set un a 4/4 time, simple rhyming techniques. It is structured so that it is easy to remember and of course it still is today. It has been said that the song is based on the Great Plague and originated in London but reading about this online it seems that there are many different versions of this song worldwide but adhere to the simple pattern. It could be that the tune is simple enough to remember and teach children and the rhyme such that it is very easy to remember.