Tag Archives: Dead Man Come Alive

Playing Dead Man, Dead Man Come Alive

I was playing a game with my girls today. This one, they taught me. Apparently, it’s one that they started playing with friends at our old house where we had a big trampoline. It’s not one that I played when I was young. Maybe that is because we didn’t have a trampoline when I was growing up (who did?) and I think it is a game that was created especially for trampoline play. That said, today we played it outside in the garden and it worked well there. Like any game, you can adapt it as necessary.

Basically, one person is picked to be “It”. They stand (or kneel if you’re on a trampoline) blindfolded in the middle of the playing area. The other players scurry around them and chant something to wake the ‘dead man’ up. We chanted:

Dead man, dead man come alive
Come alive by the count of five
One, two, three, four, five

At that point, “It” has to find and tag somebody. When someone is tagged, they are “It” and the fun begins again.

Of course, you can make up your own rhyme to wake the dead man. It’s always more fun when you have your own custom rhymes.

In 1981, Bob Dylan wrote his own lyrics for Dead Man, but it didn’t have anything to do with this game (or did it?):

Dead man, dead man
When will you arise?
Cobwebs in your mind,
Dust upon your eyes.

Oh, play this game in an open space (or on your knees if on a trampoline) because it’s easy to run into things. I tagged two big trees this afternoon. Ouch.

Does anyone remember playing dead man, dead man in the nineteen seventies or eighties?