Roger McGough: Let Me Die a Youngman’s Death

August 12, 2006

This is probably  Roger McGough’s best known poem and although I don’t agree at all with the sentiments. I can’t help including it, since it does give a different view of something that preoccupies me.

Let Me Die a Youngman’s Death

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater 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 hamfisted tommyguns 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 youngman’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

Roger McGough

Personally, I’m all for an old man’s death, a very old man’s death where I can slip away unnoticed and unaware.


3 Responses to “Roger McGough: Let Me Die a Youngman’s Death”

  1. flonerb Says:


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  2. Pat Says:

    I think you missed the point of the poem. And you should regulate your comments…

  3. I don’t share the feelings either, but it’s quite well written, I have to admit. Never heard it before, thanks for the post!

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