Funeral Poem – Let Me Die A Young Man’s Death – By Roger McGough

read by Marc Lemezma – Funeral Celebrant in Maidstone


Roger McGough is one of my favourite poets, I love his sense of humour.

He penned this sideways look at death back in the 1960s, I am sure it would not have been used in funerals then!

How times have changed – for the right person this very funny poem would be appropriate.

In more recent times he has written a new poem in answer to this one, “Not for me a young man’s death” A stark reminder of the folly of youth!


Let me die a young man’s death
not a clean and in-between
the sheets holy water death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with ham-fisted Tommy guns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a young man’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death

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The poems I share on my website or social media are original or are regularly used at funerals and are presented to aid those researching poetry for use at their loved one's funeral service.. Wherever known, I do give credit and thanks to the author. If you know the author of any I have marked as ‘unknown’, then let me know, and I will amend the page.

If you chose to share or use the poetry at a funeral or memorial service, please give the author credit.

Many of these poems are original to me; please feel free to share those or use them if they seem right for your service. All I ask is that you give credit to me as the author.


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