several pallbearers in formal uniforms carrying a coffin on their shoulders

Coffin Dance / Dancing Pallbearers

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Coffin Dance, also known as Dancing Pallbearers or Dancing Coffin, refers to several videos showing Ghanian pallbearers dancing while they are carrying a coffin. In March 2020, the videos, paired with EDM song "Astronomia" by Tony Igy, gained popularity in FAIL edits, similar to To Be Continued and We'll Be Right Back memes. In late May 2020, a Coffin Dance remix video was shared by Donald Trump on his official Facebook page, which mocked a controversial statement made by Democratic rival Joe Biden.


The first of the three most popular videos that gained popularity in connection with the trend was uploaded to YouTube[1] by Travelin Sister on January 22nd, 2015 and depicted Ghana's cultural phenomenon of dancing pallbearers (shown below, left). The video received over 2.9 million views in five years. Another video, a report by BBC News Africa,[2] was uploaded to YouTube on July 27th, 2017. That video received over 681,000 views in three years (shown below, right).

The third video, which depicted pallbearers accidentally dropping a coffin during their dance, was first posted by Facebook[3] user Bigscout Nana Prempeth on May 2nd, 2019, gaining over 2,900 reactions, 4,600 shares and 350,000 views in one year (shown below). On May 3rd, 2019, the video was reuploaded to YouTube[4] where it received over 725,000 views in one year.

The exact first instance of the video being paired with the EDM track "Astronomia" by Tony Igy is unknown. On February 26th, 2020, TikTok[5] user @lawyer_ggmu (previously @khvichagogava) posted the earliest known instance of the meme (made by an unknown author) in which the video, paired with the song, was used as a punchline for a FAIL clip. The TikTok received over 4.5 million views and 474,700 likes in one month (shown below).


In the following weeks, the video gained significant popularity on TikTok as a punchline for FAIL clips in a manner similar to To Be Continued and We'll Be Right Back memes memes, implying that the person in the FAIL video has died. For example, on March 6th, 2020, TikTok[6] account Trickshots posted a version of the meme that received over 2.9 million views and 237,000 likes (shown below, left). A March 12th meme by TikTok[7] user @xacamnhuong received over 2.7 million views and 330,800 likes (shown below, center). A March 14 meme by @.minh_hieu[8] gained over 7.2 million views and 478,400 likes (shown below, right).

In the following weeks, the meme received further spread to Twitter, Instagram and other online platforms. For example on March 20th, 2020, Facebook page J e k y[9] uploaded an edit that was received over 660 reacts and 2,600 shares in one week. On YouTube,[10][11] compilations of Dancing Pallbearer memes, often referred to as Dancing Coffin memes or Astronomia memes, were posted.

2020 BBC Video

On May 4th, 2020, BBC News Africa published a follow-up video on the Dancing Pallbearers. In the video, the group talks about their viral success and the coronavirus pandemic. The video received more than 98,000 views in less than two days.

That day, Benjamin Aidoo of the group tweeted a video of the Nana Otafrija Pallbearing Services wearing white suits and face masks, sending thanks to the doctors around the world. They also warn those who break the coronavirus quarantine, "Stay at home or dance with us."

Donald Trump's Joe Biden Campaign Video

On May 26th, 2020, Donald Trump's official Facebook page published a Coffin Dance video mashed up with a clip of Joe Biden appearing on morning talk show The Breakfast Club, during which he stated "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black." Within three hours, the video accumulated more than 2.8 million views, 198,000 reacts and 45,000 comments.


"Astronomia" is a 2010 electronic dance music (EDM) song by Tony Igy. The song, as well as a 2014 remix by Vicetone, has since been used in a series of videos on YouTube and TikTok, most notably in the Dancing Pallbearers videos.

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