Percy Green included this rhyme in his History of Nursery Rhymes (published in London in 1899). He said this version was popular at the time in London.

Game Instructions

According to Percy Green (who wrote about nursery rhymes in 1899) this song was a circle dance:

"The lot falls on one of the girls to be the bride. A ring is formed and a merry dance begins, all the children singing this invitation…

'Choose one, choose two, choose the nearest one to you.'

The girl bride then selects a groom from the rest of the other children. He steps into the center of the ring, joins hands and kisses her, after which, collecting a posy from each of the others, he decorates her with flowers and green leaves. A fresh ring is now formed - figuratively the wedding ring; the whole of the children caper round singing…

'Rosy apple, lemon and pear,
Bunch of roses she shall wear,
Gold and silver by her side,
I know who shall be my bride.'
'Choose one, choose two, choose the nearest one to you.'
'Take her by her lily-white hand,
Lead her across the water,
Give her kisses one, two, three,
Mrs. ___'s daughter.'