Rolling Stones Lyric Banned From Man’s Tombstone
The Church of England will not allow the tombstone of a recently deceased man to have the modified lyric of a Rolling Stones song etched into it. The family of Charles Clapham hoped to use the line “It was only rock ‘n’ roll” as an epitaph, but the church dismissed the idea as flippant.
According to The Australian, Clapham, a father and musician, was laid to rest at All Saints Church at Standon, near Stoke-on-Trent in west-central England. His two sons were hoping to honor him with the Stones line. They also wanted Clapham’s tombstone to say that he “finally fell off his perch.”
“What is essential is that any such inscription gives a message which conveys something of Mr Clapham’s character without being capable of being seen as inconsistent with the Christian Gospel,” judge Stephen Eyre said in his ruling. He found the phrase “finally fell off his perch” to go beyond quirky to “undue flippancy and irreverence … the ending of a human life is a serious matter.” The Stones lyric, he ruled, would not convey Clapman’s character or true nature.
Classic Rock Magazine reports that Darren and Rick Clapham are considering a different phrase or message for their father’s tombstone, since the judge didn’t object to a creative epitaph, as long as it was consistent with Christian belief. We think “You can’t always get what you want” would be fitting under the circumstances.