"The deaths in Edward Gorey's picture book, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, are funny in all these ways: 'G is for George smothered under a rug, H is for Hector done in by a thug ... M is for Maud who was swept out to sea, N is for Neville who died of ennui, O is for Olive run through with an awl, P is for Prue trampled flat in a brawl ... R is for Rhoda consumed by a fire...'
The Gashlycrumb Tinies is many things. It's a rhyming alphabet of 26 boys' and girls' names. It's a Dance of Death, detailing 26 varieties of misadventure. It's in a tradition of cruel comic verse: Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter, Belloc's Cautionary Tales, Graham's Ruthless Rhymes. It's a homage to the Victorian cult of childhood innocence and child mortality (eg Little Nell)."
(Tom Lubbock, 08 August 2008, The Independent)
Edward Gorey (1963). "The Gashlycrumb Tinies": or, "After the Outing".
"'Set fire to your hair, poke a stick at a grizzly bear ... Dumb ways to die ... dumb ways to die–ie–ie.' If the chorus isn't stuck in your head, it will be soon. Melbourne Metro Trains' darkly cute – and irksomely catchy – new ad for transport safety has gone viral, notching up a whopping 4.2 million YouTube views in less than a week. And nobody is more stunned by its success than the man behind the music, Sydneysider Ollie McGill. The Cat Empire keyboards player was commissioned to write the score to accompany lyrics to the McCann Group's new ad and has watched Facebook likes, Twitter shares and YouTube hits skyrocket as word of the animated video has spread like wildfire. ... In the ad, cartoon characters meet their ends in a number of colourful, sardonic ways, including a couple of nasty mishaps on train tracks, while the sweet chorus, 'dumb ways to die ... ' is instant earworm material."
(Daisy Dumas, 19 November 2012, Fairfax New Zealand Ltd.)
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(Jerry Beck and Amid Amidi)
Fig.1 Joshua Catalano (2011). "Demoreel 2011".