Remembering Dumb Ways to Die

Looking back on Dumb Ways to Die – video and song. Links to the official site, song download, karaoke version, animated GIFs, parodies, full lyrics and the unexpected cameo from former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson!

Here’s the all too cute original Dumb Ways to Die video from 2012.

Dumb Ways to Die – song and video

The song and video was made for a passenger safety campaign by the Metro train authority in Melbourne, Australia.  It’s gone way beyond that and spread across the internet as the latest ‘viral hit.

It’s very cleverly done.  Though we can’t help wonder if it’s too clever and the safety message won’t reach the intended audience.  Perhaps the ‘medium overwhelms the message’ as McLuhan might have said.

After the initial novelty, repeats of the song will drive you mad.

Each character has been given its own small personality.  It’s worth focusing on the individuals in the chorus segments to see little details like the fish kicked from the piranha victim or spinning head on the aviator.

Though the video was made in and for Australia, the makers appear to have been considering a global audience.  There’s nothing overtly Australian about it.  In fact, there are distinctly North American elements such as the Grizzly Bear and reference to Moose hunting season.  Perhaps there was hope of selling the campaign elsewhere in the world?

Dancing kidney guy

Dancing kidney guy is very popular and the most animated dancer in the chorus, made to appear more so by placement next to the most static character, the barely moving Superglue victim.

Boris Johnson cameo

In retrospect, one victim looks suspiciously like Boris Johnson.

Official Web Site

The official web site

Download the song

No need to buy the song on iTunes. You can download the MP3 free from Soundcloud, click the download link next to ‘Save to Favorites’.

Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs are at and yes, dancing kidney guy, is there.

Karaoke version

There’s an official karaoke version if you’d like to sing along

Making the video

The creator, John Mescall, writes about making the video at MumBrella..

Extended version (offline) and parodies

There was a ‘one hour’ version (now removed from YouTube which is just as well because it would drive you crazy).  Though it was interesting to watch the reversed video repeats because your eye will be drawn to details you might have missed.

A well produced parody Cool Things to Find

There are many, many other parodies and versions all over the net. 


Naturally there’s a Wikipedia article. 

Did you know that Dumb Ways to Die is banned in Russia?

Strangely there’s been no reports of someone having an accident on a train platform – distracted by listening to ‘Dumb Ways to Die‘.

Lyrics – Dumb Ways to Die

Set fire to your hair
Poke a stick at a grizzly bear
Eat medicine that’s out of date
Use your private parts as piranha bait

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die

Get your toast out with a fork
Do your own electrical work
Teach yourself how to fly
Eat a two week old unrefrigerated pie

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die

Invite a psycho-killer inside
Scratch your drug dealer’s brand new ride
Take your helmet off in outer space
Use your clothes dryer as a hiding place

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die

Keep a rattlesnake as pet
Sell both your kidneys on the internet
Eat a tube of superglue
“I wonder what’s this red button do?”

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die

Dress up like a moose during hunting season
Disturb a nest of wasps for no good reason
Stand on the edge of a train station platform
Drive around the boom gates at a level crossing
Run across the tracks between the platforms
They may not rhyme but they’re quite possibly

Dumbest ways to die 
Dumbest ways to die
Dumbest ways to die
So many dumb
So many dumb ways to die

Be safe around trains. A message from Metro

Copyright – Tangerine Kitty