What does Here we go round the prickly pear mean?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

“Here we go ’round the prickly pear” is actually a variation of the popular children’s song “Here we go ’round the mulberry bush.” The phrase “prickly pear” refers to the cactus plant known as Opuntia, which is characterized by its prickly spines and pear-shaped fruits.

In this context, the song is simply a playful adaptation of the original nursery rhyme. It substitutes the mulberry bush with the prickly pear cactus, creating a fun twist for children to enjoy. It’s a way to introduce them to different plants and expand their knowledge of the natural world.

The lyrics of the song typically go like this:

Here we go ’round the prickly pear,
The prickly pear, the prickly pear.
Here we go ’round the prickly pear
So early in the morning.

The song usually continues with additional verses, each describing different activities or actions that the people are doing around the prickly pear cactus.

While the exact origin of the song is unclear, it is believed to have originated in England in the early 19th century. The mulberry bush version was well-known, and the variation with the prickly pear cactus may have been a regional adaptation or a playful twist created by children.

So, in essence, “Here we go ’round the prickly pear” is just a playful variation of the original song, introducing children to a different plant and adding a touch of creativity and fun to their singing and dancing.