November 18, 2014

A Dozen Ways to Make a Mummy

Tomorrow's lecture in bioarchaeology has twelve case studies of mummies from around the world.  Inspired by that (and by my constant foot-dragging when it comes time to write lectures), I give you A Dozen Ways to Make a Mummy, to the tune of Paul Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.  (Apologies in advance to Mr. Simon, whose work I can't get enough of, even when random people sing Cecilia upon meeting my kid.)

A Dozen Ways to Make a Mummy

The problem is that a body tends to decompose.
The answer is clearer if you take time to repose.
I'd like to help you with this song I have composed.
There must be... a dozen ways to make a mummy.

Stick a hook up the nose, Mose.
Break the ethmoid, Floyd.
No need to be coy, Roy, just suck those brains free!
Take out the heart, Bart.
Get some canopic jars, Lars.
Pile on the nat-Ron, just listen to me.

You say, "I know about the ancient Egyptians.
But tell me more, please, without going into conniptions.
I'd like to hear you give some more descriptions
about the dozen ways to make a mummy."

Well, you can soak it in salt, Walt.
Spray it with tar, Edgar.
Float it in honey, Lee, like a Roman sweet.
Sink it in a bog, Dawg, to preserve that meat.

You say, "Why don't we both just think of this some more
for I believe that if we try, we can make a Mummy Corps
full of people who think that this gore of yore's no snore.
There's more than... a dozen ways to make a mummy.
More than a dozen ways to make a mummy."

With many thanks to everyone who contributed to my Facebook and Twitter threads, including: Phoebe Acheson (@classicslib), Alison Atkin (@alisonatkin), Katie Biitner (@kbiitner), Lindsay Bloch,  Lynne Goldstein (@lynnegoldstein), Bethany Nowviskie (@nowviskie), Joy Reeber, Laura Wagner (@TiLauraRose), and Erika Zimmermann Damer.


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