If we look at the most famous last words ever spoken we find a mixture of the inspirational, the mundane and the downright dumb. The following are some examples of what some people chose to say with their final words on Earth.
Pardon me sir, I meant not to do it – Marie Antoinette
She never actually said “let them eat cake”, I’m sorry to say. Although I like to think that she probably secretly thought about saying it at one point anyway. However, the French Queen Marie Antoinette did make this famous quote just before the guillotine did its job, after she had accidentally stepped on the executioner’s foot on her way to her death.
I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have – Leonardo da Vinci
There is being modest and overly self critical and there is simply not realizing that you are probably the greatest blooming genius to ever walk the Earth. I have seen a few different translations of the famous last words spoken by Leonardo but they all show that he felt that he could have done more with his life. Yeah, creating some of the world’s finest pieces of art, inventing machines that were centuries ahead of their time, producing the most anatomically correct drawing of a man of its time, perfecting the art of writing backwards and with both hands at the same time and a few other little hobbies were just a waste of time really.
I’m bored with it all – Sir Winston Churchill
The final last words of the man who led Britain into battle in WWII show that he was ready to give up the good fight and move upstairs. In fact, his last words are sometimes incorrectly quoted as a rather more poetic phrase that he said earlier; “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
Hey fellas! How about this for a headline for tomorrow’s paper? French Fries!”
This brings a whole new level to the meaning of gallows humor. James Donald French said these famous last words to the assembled press just before being sent to the electric chair in Oklahoma in 1966.
Yes…a bullet-proof vest – James W.Rodgers
Another bit of last-minute dark humor came from convicted murderer Rodgers just before the Utah firing squad started up. He was asked whether he had one last request and came up with these famous last words.
No, you certainly can’t – John F Kennedy
I don’t think I had ever read the last words of JFK before today. In the end, it wasn’t anything particularly exciting that he said. However, he was just replying to the comment from the governor’s wife, “You certainly cannot say that the people of Dallas haven’t given you a nice welcome, Mr. President.”
I’m going to the bathroom to read – Elvis Presley
Do you know what Elvis’ famous last words were? When he couldn’t get to sleep one night in 1977, Elvis told his then fiancée, Ginger Alden, that he was heading to the bathroom to read. She believed that he meant that he was going to take prescription drugs while in there. She told him “don’t fall asleep in there” but when she woke up later he was dead on the bathroom floor.