Stones words banned from tomb
“It’s only rock’n'roll – but I like it.” Those words, written by the Rolling Stones in 1974, have come to represent a feeling shared by many rock fans – an understated declaration of undying love for the music, echoing the famous football fans’ mantra that to some, it’s a matter of life and death… while to others, it’s more important than that.
But the Church of England have decided that the iconic lyrics are too flippant, and they’ve told the sons of a late rock fan they can’t have “It was only rock’n'roll” engraved on his tomb.
Darren and Rick Clapham wanted the words to be an epitaph for musician Charles, who recently passed away and was buried at All Saints Church in Standon near Stoke-on-Trent.
They also wanted to describe his death by saying he “finally fell off his perch.”
But a Church of England court judge has decided against them. Stephen Eyre says: “I would be prepared to authorise an inscription going beyond the recording of Mr Clapham’s age at death, and his attributes as a loving father and grandfather.
“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.”
While agreeing that an epitaph could reflect more of Clapham’s personality, Eyre added: “The words ‘finally fell off his perch’ are unacceptable. They cross the line, going beyond quirkiness and humour to undue flippancy and irreverence.
“The ending of a human life is a serious matter and the proposed phrase goes too far.”
Clapham’s sons are considering a different form of words for the gravestone.
Tags: Rolling Stones