I don't think the lyrics mean anything, I think it is important to remember that most of the time when people write songs they aren't trying to give them any deep meaning, they are just stringing words together because they sound good....whether the song is 'Ring Around the Roise' (which, contrary to myth is NOT about the black plague) or 'I Am The Walrus', most songs are just complete gibberish...especially songs written for children....
And yet there is a fair amount of scholarship on the subject.
You are correct, sir. It relates to the appearance of the plague, the smell and death rate. There are other song lyrics, especially relating to Christmas time (A partridge in a pear tree) that relates to Catholic persecution in the UK (I'm from the UK). We're taught about these things at school. Rhymes and songs of this nature very often have a meaning or hidden message.
First of all its "Ring around the Roses", Second it's the Plague or "Black Death".
The village of Eyam known as "The Plague Village" prevented the spread of the plague into the North of England after a local tailor George Viccars, received from London a flee infested bolt of cloth. Within a week Viccars was dead from the plague and was buried on 7th Sept. 1665. To prevent the spread of the plague the village quarantined itself from surrounding towns and villages. Over a period of some 14 months the villagers suffered from the plague and out of a population of 350 only 83 survived. The plague never spread beyond Eyam. I and members of my family of course, have visited Eyam in the Derbyshire High Peak District. (The pub grub there aint cheap)!