Dance Naked At My Funeral

Dance naked at my funeral! Because
You can; because you are alive to dance!
Dance naked—never mind the laws—
The cops might care; you’ll have to take that chance!

Dance beside the fresh-turned earth—my grave—
With nothing on but bright blue sky, or clouds
If the sky is mourning my loss. Misbehave!
Dance naked! You have no need of shrouds!

Dance, naked, around my silent stone;
If I were there, and living, I’d dance too!
But no, my music’s stopped; my dance is done
Dance for me! That’s all I ask of you!

Dance naked—mourn in movement, in the buff;
For now, forget… you’ll join me soon enough.

Via our friends at the Good Funeral Guide, an article on some recent arrests in Zimbabwe, of people who caused a disturbance by dancing naked at a funeral “in the full glare of mourners”.

In one case, four were arrested; in another, 15 were arrested for naked dancing (or scantily clad dancing) at another funeral:

Officer commanding police in Mutare Urban District, Chief Superintendent Winston Muzah, confirmed the arrests.

“We cannot have a situation whereby people strip naked at funerals. That is taboo and criminal. As police, we do not condone such acts and we are on the alert for any repeat of such behaviour. We will take stern action against anyone found on the wrong side of the law,” he said.

It kind of made me wonder about the motivation. Was this a celebration? Were these people crashing funerals they were not part of? The article, while disapproving, is short on details of motivation:

Of late, funerals and burials in the high-density suburbs have degenerated into platforms of nudity in which mourners indulge in all sorts of misdemeanor.

Again, but why?

The more I thought about it, the more I thought… I want people dancing naked at my funeral. It is a time (or may be) when you feel most strongly the impermanence of life–so what better time to celebrate the delicate absurdity of it all?


  1. says

    If we're going to be dancing naked at your funeral, we'll have to have some way of identifying it's you. You'll have to set up a post death entry with directions to your funeral.Otherwise, we may end up dancing naked where we're not wanted. Of course, that also might be fun.

  2. says

    I don't see why anything should really be out of bounds at a funeral, as long as the deceased asked for it or would have approved of it. Of course, that may not always be very clear, so let me spare everyone the guesswork:I wore no clothes arriving hereI’ll need none when I go –The moments in between most dear,Did I wear any? No.But when I leave, please don’t interWhat might remain of me* – A sailing man, I’d much preferA burial at sea.Then dance, my friends, without a traceOf clothes aboard the shipAnd feel my final fond embraceAs you all skinny dip.*After medicine and science has taken anything of interest.

  3. Jack says

    "Dance Naked" is an album (and song) by John Mellencamp from the early 90s. I do like yours better, though I guess it would sadly never play on the radio. Then again with KIDS THESE DAYS and their internetradio maybe there could be a Cuttlefish recital.

  4. Svlad Cjelli says

    Meh, maybe I'll ask if someone I know wants first dibs on my corpse. Enjoy. Otherwise, harvest anything useful. Maybe some teacher wants a skeleton? Some sub-par fertilizer?

  5. entropy says

    "We cannot have a situation whereby people strip naked at funerals."Police: Fulfilling their unwritten duty to comic relief.

  6. says

    As police, we do not condone such acts…Why does this portion of the Police Superintendent's announcement grate on me so much? Perhaps because it sounds like if there were no law against nekkid cavorting at funerals, they'd arrest you, anyway, because "(they) do not condone such acts…"Then again, mebbe it's from reading too many accounts of authoritarian over-reach by law enforcement over at Ed Brayton's joint.Before retiring from the union construction trade, I traveled the country with a good friend/co-worker who, after surviving multiple gunshot wounds in Vietnam, and later a rollover accident that broke nearly every bone in his body, would look in the mirror each morning and loudly proclaim, "Don't you ever die, you good-lookin' SOB!"Here's to DC never dying, and in fact dancing nekkid forever!

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