An epitaph (from Greek ἐπιτάφιος epitaphios "a funeral oration" from ἐπί epi "at, over" and τάφος taphos "tomb") is a short text honoring a deceased person. Strictly speaking, it refers to text that is inscribed on a tombstone or plaque, but it may also be used in a figurative sense. Some epitaphs are specified by the person themselves before their death, while others are chosen by those responsible for the burial. An epitaph may be written in prose or in poem verse; poets have been known to compose their own epitaphs prior to their death, as did William Shakespeare.
Most epitaphs are brief records of the family, and perhaps the career, of the deceased, often with a common expression of love or respect—for example, "beloved father of ..."—but others are more ambitious. From the Renaissance to the 19th century in Western culture, epitaphs for notable people became increasingly lengthy and pompous descriptions of their family origins, career, virtues and immediate family, often in Latin. Notably, the Laudatio Turiae, the longest known Ancient Roman epitaph, exceeds almost all of these at 180 lines; it celebrates the virtues of an honored wife, probably of a consul.
Some are quotes from holy texts, or aphorisms. One approach of many epitaphs is to 'speak' to the reader and warn them about their own mortality. A wry trick of others is to request the reader to get off their resting place, inasmuch as the reader would have to be standing on the ground above the coffin to read the inscription. Some record achievements (e.g., past politicians note the years of their terms of office). Nearly all (excepting those where this is impossible by definition, such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) note name, year or date of birth, and date of death. Many list family members and the relationship of the deceased to them (for example, "Father / Mother / Son / Daughter of").
We must know. We will know.
(German: Wir müssen wissen. Wir werden wissen.)
Looking into the portals of eternity teaches that
The brotherhood of man is inspired by God’s word;
Then all prejudice of race vanishes away.
He never killed a man that did not need killing.
Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water
And the beat goes on.
Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas,
Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please.
(Devanagari: हे राम)
That's all folks!
I've finally stopped getting dumber.
(Hungarian: Végre nem butulok tovább.)
Homo sum! the adventurer
Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by
that here, obedient to their law, we lie.
I told you I was ill.
(Irish: Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite.)
Here sleeps at peace a Hampshire Grenadier
Who caught his early death by drinking cold small beer.
Soldiers, be wise at his untimely fall,
And when you're hot, drink strong or none at all.
To save your world you asked this man to die:
Would this man, could he see you now, ask why?
There is borne an empty hearse
covered over for such as appear not.
Heroes have the whole earth for their tomb.
Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!
Good frend for Iesvs sake forebeare,
To digg the dvst encloased heare.
Bleste be man spares thes stones,
And cvrst be he moves my bones.
(In modern spelling):
Good friend for Jesus' sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
In a more figurative sense, the term may be used for music composed in memory of the deceased. Igor Stravinsky composed in 1958 Epitaphium for flute, clarinet and harp. In 1967 Krzysztof Meyer called his Symphony No. 2 for choir and orchestra Epitaphium Stanisław Wiechowicz in memoriam. Jeffrey Lewis composed Epitaphium – Children of the Sun for narrator, chamber choir, piano, flute, clarinet and percussion. Bronius Kutavičius composed in 1998 Epitaphium temporum pereunti. Valentin Silvestrov composed in 1999 Epitaph L.B. (Епітафія Л.Б.) for viola (or cello) and piano. In 2007 Graham Waterhouse composed Epitaphium for string trio as a tribute to the memory of his father William Waterhouse. The South African poet Gert Vlok Nel wrote an (originally) untitled song, which appeared on his first music album 'Beaufort-Wes se Beautiful Woorde' as 'Epitaph', because his producer Eckard Potgieter told him that the song sounded like an epitaph. David Bowie's final album, Blackstar, released in 2016, is generally seen as his musical epitaph, with singles "Blackstar" and "Lazarus" often singled out.
In the late 1990s, a unique epitaph was flown to the moon along with the ashes of geologist and planetary scientist Eugene Shoemaker. At the suggestion of colleague Carolyn Porco, Shoemaker's ashes were launched aboard the Lunar Prospector spacecraft on January 6, 1998. The ashes were accompanied by a laser-engraved epitaph on a small piece of foil. The spacecraft, along with the ashes and epitaph, crashed on command into the south polar region of the moon on July 31, 1999.
.hack (pronounced "dot-hack") is a Japanese multimedia franchise that encompasses two projects: Project .hack and .hack Conglomerate. Both projects were primarily created and developed by CyberConnect2, and published by Bandai. The series franchise revolves around an alternative history setting in the rise of the new millennium regarding the technological rise of a new version of the internet following a major global computer network disaster in the year 2005, and the mysterious events regarding the wildly popular in-universe MMORPG series The World. The series is mainly followed through anime and video game installations, and has been adapted through manga, novels and other related media.All (band)
All is an American punk rock band originally from Los Angeles, currently based in Fort Collins, Colorado, formed by Descendents members Bill Stevenson, Karl Alvarez, and Stephen Egerton.Anti- (record label)
Anti- is an American record label founded in 1999 as a sister label to Epitaph. While Epitaph's focus has mostly been on punk rock, Anti-'s roster includes country (Merle Haggard), hip hop (Sage Francis, The Coup), reggae (Michael Franti), soul (Bettye LaVette, Doe Paoro), indie folk (The Swell Season, Saintseneca), rap rock (One Day as a Lion), indie rock (The Dream Syndicate, Islands, Japandroids), and Tom Waits.
Founded by Andy Kaulkin, Anti- first gained attention by releasing Tom Waits's Grammy Award-winning Mule Variations in 1999. Other veteran recording artists such as rhythm and blues singers Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette and Marianne Faithfull have signed onto Anti- after leaving other labels.Brett Gurewitz
Brett W. Gurewitz (born May 12, 1962), nicknamed Mr. Brett, is the guitarist and a songwriter of Bad Religion. He is also the owner of the music label Epitaph Records and a number of sister labels. He has produced albums for Bad Religion as well as Epitaph Records labelmates NOFX, Rancid, and Pennywise, among others. Gurewitz also had a project called Error, which also featured Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross, and Greg Puciato. He is also the co-founder of comic book and graphic novel publisher, Black Mask Studios.
Gurewitz founded Bad Religion in 1980 with Greg Graffin, Jay Bentley and Jay Ziskrout. After releasing two albums and one EP, Gurewitz left Bad Religion in 1983, but rejoined three years later, and recorded five more albums with the band before they signed to Atlantic Records in 1993. The success of his record label Epitaph prompted Gurewitz to leave Bad Religion once again in 1994, and run his label on a full-time basis. During his hiatus from Bad Religion, he released the "Hate You" single in 1996 with his one-off project Daredevils, and entered a period of drug addiction. By 1999, Gurewitz had successfully completed drug rehabilitation. He eventually rejoined the band in 2001 to write and record the album The Process of Belief (2002). He remains with the band today for occasional studio recordings.Burning Heart Records
Burning Heart Records is an independent record label formed in 1993 in Fagersta, Sweden and currently based in Örebro. It has a close affiliation with Californian label Epitaph Records, who own the rights to distribute Burning Heart's output in North America. It also started a German office in Berlin in the end of 2003.Burning Heart has proven very successful in launching European (especially Swedish) bands to a global audience. Their successes have included The Hives, Turbonegro, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Millencolin, No Fun at All and Refused. The label focuses on punk music, but has also released rock, ska, noise and hip hop records.Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs from "Let No Man Write My Epitaph"
Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs from "Let No Man Write My Epitaph" is a 1960 (see 1960 in music) album by the American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, accompanied by the pianist Paul Smith. Let No Man Write My Epitaph was a 1960 Hollywood movie featuring Fitzgerald.
Until 2014 this album was only available on CD as The Intimate Ella, and is considered one of Ella's greatest recordings. Ella's 1950 Decca album Ella Sings Gershwin, is in a similar vein, with Ella accompanied by the pianist Ellis Larkins.
The album hints at a depth of emotional understanding that critics often complained was missing in Ella's reading of jazz lyrics, and once again establishes her as one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Scott Yanow's review of the album (on Allmusic) declared, "Listeners who [think] Ella Fitzgerald... had trouble giving the proper emotional intensity to lyrics will be surprised by this sensitive and often haunting set".Epitaph (Judas Priest DVD)
Epitaph is a live video released by Judas Priest on DVD and Blu-Ray on 28 May 2013. It was filmed at the Hammersmith Apollo on 26 May 2012, which was the last date of the Epitaph World Tour, where they performed songs from each Halford-era album from Rocka Rolla to Nostradamus. The show was first seen in cinemas in New York City on 14 May and in London on 15 May with special screenings around the world on 16 May. It then premiered on VH1 Classic in the United States on 25 May.Epitaph (King Crimson album)
Epitaph is a live 4-CD set of concert performances and radio sessions from 1969 by the band King Crimson, released in 1997. Volumes 1 and 2 (Discs 1 and 2) were available in retail shops, and the set included a flyer with instructions on how to obtain Volumes 3 and 4 (Discs 3 and 4) via mail-order. In 2006, volumes 3 and 4 were released independently as a 2-disc set via DGM.Epitaph (song)
"Epitaph" is the third track on British progressive rock band King Crimson's 1969 album In the Court of the Crimson King. It was written by Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Greg Lake, and Michael Giles with lyrics written by Peter Sinfield.
The song is noted for its heavy use of the Mellotron, and as with the first track, "21st Century Schizoid Man", the song's lyrics have a distinctly dystopian feel to them.The song's title was used as the name for a live album of recordings done by the original King Crimson, Epitaph.Emerson, Lake & Palmer would later incorporate an excerpt from this song after the "Battlefield" portion of the live version of their song "Tarkus", from the Tarkus album, as documented in the live album Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends... Ladies and Gentlemen.
"Stripes" from Cage's album Hell's Winter samples a middle part of the song throughout its duration.
Epitaph Records also took its name from the song.Epitaph Records
Epitaph Records is an American independent record label owned by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, most acts signed to the label were punk and pop punk acts, while there are many post-hardcore and emo bands signed to the label as well. A large portion of the record label, known as Hellcat Records, is owned by Tim Armstrong, frontman of the punk rock band Rancid. Several sister labels also exist, such as ANTI-, Burning Heart Records, Fat Possum Records, Hellcat Records, and Heart & Skull Records that have signed other types of bands.Every Time I Die
Every Time I Die is an American hardcore punk band from Buffalo, New York, formed in 1998. They have garnered acclaim for their energetic and intense live shows. They announced on July 14, 2008 that they had left their label Ferret Music and signed with Epitaph Records instead. Their eighth and latest studio album Low Teens was released through Epitaph on September 23, 2016.Hellcat Records
Hellcat Records is an independent record label based in Los Angeles, California, United States. The label, an offshoot of Epitaph Records, was started as a partnership between Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion, the owner of Epitaph, and Tim Armstrong of Rancid, the latter of whom is generally responsible for signing bands.The label specializes in ska, punk, oi!, psychobilly and hardcore bands. Give 'Em the Boot, a Hellcat label sampler which also includes tracks from other up-and-coming independent bands, has been issued every other year since 1997, with the exceptions of the third release, which was released three years after the second, and the last one, which was released one year after the one before it.Matchbook Romance
Matchbook Romance is an American emo band from Poughkeepsie, New York and was formed in 1997.
They are signed to Epitaph Records. They released two full-length albums and one EP. Their EP, West for Wishing, released in 2003 was their first recorded album during their time on Epitaph; their full-length debut album, Stories and Alibis, was recorded in the same year.Millencolin
Millencolin is a punk rock band that was formed in October 1992 by Nikola Šarčević, Mathias Färm, and Erik Ohlsson in Örebro, Sweden. In early 1993, drummer Fredrik Larzon joined the band. The name Millencolin is derived from the skateboard trick "melancholy".NOFX
NOFX is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California. They were formed in 1983 by vocalist/bassist Fat Mike (formerly of False Alarm) and guitarist Eric Melvin. Drummer Erik Sandin joined NOFX shortly after, and El Hefe joined the band in 1991 to play lead guitar and trumpet, rounding out the current line-up.
NOFX's mainstream success was signified by a growing interest in punk rock during the 1990s, though unlike many of their contemporaries (including Bad Religion, Green Day and The Offspring), they have never been signed to a major label. NOFX has released thirteen studio albums, sixteen extended plays and a number of seven-inch singles. The band rose to popularity with their fifth studio album Punk in Drublic (1994). Their latest studio album, First Ditch Effort, was released on October 7, 2016. The group has sold over 8 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful independent bands of all time. NOFX broadcasts their own show on Fuse TV entitled NOFX: Backstage Passport.Pennywise (band)
Pennywise is an American punk rock band from Hermosa Beach, California, formed in 1988. The band took its name from the evil clown monster from the Stephen King horror novel It.Between their 1991 self-titled debut and 2005's The Fuse, Pennywise has released an album every two years on Epitaph Records, a label owned by Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. To date, the band has released twelve full-length studio albums (the latest being 2018's Never Gonna Die), one live album, two EPs and one DVD. Although their first two studio albums were critically acclaimed, Pennywise would not experience worldwide commercial success until the 1995 release of their third studio album, About Time, which peaked at number ninety-six on the Billboard 200, and number fifty-five on Australia's ARIA Charts. The band's mainstream success coincided with a growing interest in punk rock during the 1990s, along with fellow California bands NOFX, Rancid, Blink-182, Bad Religion, Green Day, The Offspring, Lagwagon and Sublime. By 2007, the band had independently sold over three million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful independent punk acts of all time.
Pennywise's current line-up consists of Jim Lindberg (vocals), Fletcher Dragge (guitars), Randy Bradbury (bass) and Byron McMackin (drums). They had kept their original line-up together until bassist Jason Thirsk died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1996, due to issues with his alcoholism, after which Bradbury joined as his replacement. In August 2009, Lindberg decided to leave the band; he was replaced in February 2010 by Ignite singer Zoli Téglás. With Téglás, the band recorded their tenth studio album All or Nothing, which was released on May 1, 2012. Lindberg rejoined the band later that year after Téglás was sidelined by a back injury.Sleeping with Sirens
Sleeping with Sirens is an American rock band from Orlando, Florida currently residing in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The band currently consists of Kellin Quinn (vocals, keyboards), Gabe Barham (drums), Jack Fowler (lead guitar), Nick Martin (rhythm guitar), and Justin Hills (bass). The band was formed in 2009 by members of For All We Know and Paddock Park. The group is currently signed to Warner Bros. Records and have released five full-length albums and an acoustic EP.
The band rose to fame with their song "If I'm James Dean, You're Audrey Hepburn", the lead single from their debut album With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear which was released in 2010. Their second album Let's Cheers to This was released in 2011 and became a breakout for the band, thanks to the popular single "If You Can't Hang" The group's third album Feel debuted at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200, and a fourth album entitled Madness was released on March 17, 2015 through Epitaph Records and spawned the single "Kick Me". Their fifth studio album, Gossip, was released on September 22, 2017 on Warner Bros. Records. The group is known primarily for the versatility of vocalist Kellin Quinn's leggero tenor vocal range, along with the heavy sound used on their early work and the pop influences they used later into their career.Story of the Year
Story of the Year is an American rock band formed in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2000. The band was originally formed under the name Big Blue Monkey. They changed their name to Story of the Year in 2002 after the release of their EP titled Story of the Year on the indie label Criterion Records, after they realized a blues group of the name Big Blue Monkey had already existed.
It would not be until three years after forming that Story of the Year saw its first piece of commercial success in its major label debut, Page Avenue, containing the popular singles "Until the Day I Die" and "Anthem of Our Dying Day". A second album, In the Wake of Determination, followed in 2005, but did not achieve the commercial success of its predecessor. The band released their third album, The Black Swan, on April 22, 2008, which was their first release on Epitaph Records, followed by 2010's The Constant.
On August 11, 2017, Story of the Year teased a 90-second clip of a new song off their crowd-funded fifth studio album. The pledge campaign began in November 2016 and was completely funded in less than 3 days. The band used high-profile producer Aaron Sprinkle and mixers Tom Lord Alge & J Hall to complete their fifth studio album. They confirmed via the pledge site that the new album will be titled Wolves, which was released on PledgeMusic on December 1, 2017. The album's wide release was on December 8, 2017.The Offspring
The Offspring is an American rock band from Garden Grove, California, formed in 1984. Originally formed under the name Manic Subsidal, the band has consisted of lead vocalist and guitarist Bryan "Dexter" Holland, bassist Greg K., guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and drummer Pete Parada since 2007. Over the course of their 35-year career, they have released nine studio albums and experienced several lineup changes, including switching drummers. Their longest-serving drummer was Ron Welty, who replaced original drummer James Lilja in 1987, and stayed with the band for 16 years; he was replaced by Atom Willard in 2003, and then four years later by Parada.
The Offspring is often credited—alongside fellow California punk bands Green Day, Rancid, Bad Religion, NOFX, Blink-182 and Pennywise—for reviving mainstream interest in punk rock in the 1990s. They have sold over 40 million records worldwide, being considered one of the best-selling punk rock bands of all time. The Offspring achieved its first commercial success with their third studio album Smash (1994), which has sold over eleven million copies worldwide, setting a record for most albums sold on an independent record label, and was the first album released on Epitaph to obtain gold and platinum status. After switching record labels, from Epitaph to Columbia, in 1996, the Offspring continued their commercial success with its next six studio albums: Ixnay on the Hombre (1997), Americana (1998), Conspiracy of One (2000), Splinter (2003), Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace (2008) and Days Go By (2012); the former of the four were certified platinum, multi-platinum, platinum and gold status by the RIAA respectively. The band is currently in production of their tenth studio album, tentatively due for release in 2019 or 2020.