This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday, 5 April 2013

Bad Hymns 18

Today's nomination for the Eccles Bad Hymn Award is the song most frequently played at funerals, namely "My Way." Accordingly, we invited Paul Anka, the original lyricist, to discuss the work with us.

I did it my way

He did it his way.

E: Paul, good to see you here. I started my researches on your hymn by reading the Wikipedia entry. It seems to have been written by a doctor of moral philosophy.

The lyrics of "My Way" tell the story of a man who, having grown old, reflects on his life as death approaches. He is comfortable with his mortality and takes responsibility for how he dealt with all the challenges of life while maintaining a respectable degree of integrity.

A: Yes, that seems to sum it up, Eccles. In this modern era, where we don't believe in good and evil, can we not say, Regrets, I've had a few, But then again, too few to mention?

E: Well a certain Pharisee would definitely have agreed with you. By the way, it says here that I travelled each and ev'ry highway. Are you a great walker?

Silly walks

A great walker, who did it his way.

A: It doesn't do to take the words too literally, Eccles. Likewise, And so I face the final curtain isn't referring to a literal curtain.

E: Actually, in a crematorium there often is a literal curtain, through which the coffin slides away. But never mind. I see that your hymn asks, For what is a man, what has he got? Have you been reading Psalm 8? What is man that thou art mindful of him?

A: Except that I come to a different conclusion, Eccles.

E: It seems to me that what the song is saying is that the late lamented was a smug, selfish, egotistical, pig-headed, arrogant fool. Of course, many late lamenteds are like that, but should we really say so, explicitly?

smug, selfish, egotistical, pig-headed, arrogant fool

Totally irrelevant image.

A: You've got it, Eccles. These are the words the mourners really have in their heads:

He was a pain, we're glad he's dead,
He made his family's life a misery.
He never listened to a word we said,
What's more, he always had to do things his way.
E: Paul Anka, thank you for explaining this hymn to us.

Frank Sinatra

"And more, much more than this, I did it my way."

Previous entries for the Eccles Bad Hymn Award:

Lord of the Dance.    Shine, Jesus, shine.    Enemy of apathy.    Walk in the Light.
Kum Ba Yah.    Follow me.    God's Spirit is in my heart.    Imagine.    Alleluia Ch-ch.
It ain't necessarily so.    I, the Lord of sea and sky.    Colours of day.    The red flag.
Go, the Mass is ended.    I watch the sunrise.    Bind us together, Lord.    Our god reigns.


  1. It is a favourite at karaoke funerals where they has corpses in a basket because it is better for the 'envirment'. But here's a puzzle, darling eccles, the death-rate remains constant at 100% whatever those scientists invent. Can I therefore sue Mr Dawkins for raising unjustifiable hopes instead of raising the dead? xx Jess

  2. I'm still having 'I Watch the Sunrise' although that sudden key change may cause some of the elderly distress!

  3. for bird-watchers it goes "Egrets , I've snapped a few....."

  4. A priest I knew told me that, at one funeral (at a crematorium) the family chose Colours of Day as a "nice" tune for the send-off. I know you've already covered that one

    1. I get wot you mean: So light up the fire and let the flame burn.

  5. And then there's the one for organ donators: "I left my heart in San Francisco, I left my spleen in Camden Town" etc.

  6. Or for the Sado Masachits .......Bind us in leather Lord

  7. What about the great modern female him writers - Madge Esty; Joy Asdawned; Grace Alown & Paula N. Wood?