Let Me Die A Youngman's Death Poem by Roger McGough

Let Me Die A Youngman's Death

Rating: 4.1

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

Let Me Die A Youngman's Death
Bou Aliyya 17 July 2010

When I was 20 I took this poem as my motto. Today, at 64 and sitting in a hostel in the old city part of Kashgar on the Silk Road, in sweltering temperatures - it's STILL my motto. Is it still yours, Roger and, if so, what are you doing about it?

65 20 Reply
Cassandra Coghlan 24 April 2012

This poem causes resentment to well up inside me. Not that I want it to, its a great poem. My indignation comes from knowing how it feels to lose a young man to a young man's life. He was 28. A long life has its own privileges, and price. How dare it feel it the right to turn what is a young man's price into its cherry on top.

25 38 Reply
Andy Morris 23 June 2013

Hang me from The highest tree If hanging be my destiny So at the moment That I die You'll know I went With head held high Andy Morris

39 13 Reply
Susan Williams 06 October 2015

I love the way he handles words- running them together, chasing them from line to line, and I like that he doesn't want to slip peacefully into the night

42 5 Reply
Teenage Mawuto 06 February 2016

I have decided to dig his grave and eat his brains

24 20 Reply
Bri Edwards 03 December 2023

'Born: 1937 (age 86 years) , Litherland, United Kingdom Spouse: Hilary Clough (m.1986) , Thelma Monaghan (m.1970-1980) Education: BA French and Geography'

0 0 Reply
Bri Edwards 03 December 2023

I will not take time to read this; the guy is likely dead already [but I may check with 'google']. 'Youngman' is a person's last name, but I DOUBT many use 'youngman' instead of 'young man'! : )

0 1 Reply
Bharati Nayak 03 December 2023

I just wondered about the underlying meaning of this poem.Does the poet feel that he would be as chivalrous as any young man at any age as his heart remains young for ever? He wants that his death will make news rather than being dead peacefully as an unknown person.

0 1 Reply
Michael Maul 18 August 2023

I liked this very much

0 0 Reply
Harish k. Thakur 15 July 2023

Good poem.

0 0 Reply
Roger McGough

Roger McGough

Liverpool / England
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