Saturday, November 5, 2011

Top Ten epitaphs

Pondering death, as one does, the other day, I started thinking about epitaphs and went looking for some good 'uns. Here they are:

Top Ten Epitaphs ( in no particular order).
Spike Milligan is buried in the grounds of St Thomas, Winchelsea, East Sussex.
His epitaph reads:

"Duirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite",

which is Irish for:

"I told you I was sick.".

  • Swedish Author, Fritiof Nilsson Piraten is buried in Ravlunda Cemetery, on his grave it reads:

    "Här under är askan av en man som hade vanan att
    skjuta allt till morgondagen.

    Dock bättrades han på sitt yttersta och dog
    verkligen den 31 januari 1972."

    Which (roughly translated) means:

    "Here lie the ashes of a man who had the habit

    of postponing everything until tomorrow.

    However, at the end of his life he improved,

    and actually died on the 31st of January 1972."

  •  Perhaps not a clever epitaph, ( or even one that tells us much about the person it commemorates) but definitely memorable is the inscription on the first grave of Jesse James which reads:

    "Murdered by a traitor and a coward
    whose name* is not worthy to appear here" 

    It was written by his mother, and we can tell she wasn't pleased.

  • *Robert Ford: in fact

  • An even angrier epitaph, is found on the headstone of John laird McCaffery in Montreal which reads:

    Free your body and soul
    Unfold your powerful wings
    Climb up the highest mountains
    Kick your feet up in the air
    You may now live forever
    Or return to this earth
    Unless you feel good where you are!

     ---Missed by your friends"

     The 'friends' who paid for it were his ex-wife and his mistress so you have to wonder if he was in on the joke or not. ( If you haven't figured what the joke is, it's an acrostic poem, where the first letters of each line spell out the ultimate meaning )

  • Mel Blanc, actor best known for providing the voices of Bugs Bunny & Porky Pig, is buried in Hollywood. His headstone reads

    "That's all folks"

  •  The only Inmate buried on the grounds of the Idaho State Penitentiary is Lester Moore, a man shot while trying to escape, it simply states:
    Here lies the body

      of Lester Moore
     shot by a guard with a fourty-four

      Now there is no Les

      no more.

  • Perhaps Lester might've agreed with John Gay who wrote the Beggar's Opera in 1728 and composed the inscription for his own tomb in Westminster Abbey which reads:

    "Life's a jest, and all things show it;
    I thought so once, and now I know it."

  • And moving on from  Gay to another Gay, albeit of a different type this time: a 'Gays in the military' --type-Gay
    by the name of  Leonard Matlovich ,whose headstone sums up the achievements in his life, both as a soldier and activist, with these words:
    When I was in the military,
    they gave me a medal for killing two men
    and a discharge for loving one.

  • The Architect Christopher Wren,of course, designed St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

    He is buried there and his marker reads:
    "Lector, si monumentum requiris circumspice."
    which is Latin for

    "Reader, if you seek his monument, look around"

  • And finally, one last stop; the great author H.G.Wells who was writing brilliant science-fiction back in the days of steam and who we have to thank for 'The Time-machine' and 'War of the Worlds',was cremated and his ashes were buried at sea, which I think is  a real pity.
    I've decided to include his chosen epitaph anyway, it was:
    "I told you so, you damned fools".
    In a fair universe he would have that, instead of just this boring plaque: