“Your music is engraved inside us forever”, were the words uttered by Mick Jagger this week when paying his respects to the passing of Chuck Berry, the legendary guitarist who recently died at the age of 90.
The funeral for the rock figure was held yesterday afternoon, where tributes poured forth from around the world and recognition was made of his incredible contribution to music.
A letter from Sir Paul McCartney noted, “Chuck was a huge influence on me and my companions”; Bill Clinton praised the musician as a uniter; and Gene Simmons of Kiss attributed the birth of rock n’ roll to a “guy who just wanted to make people feel better”.
But it was the tribute of the Rolling Stones frontman that got us thinking here at Engravers Guild the most, and why it was his sequence of words that counted the most headlines and social media credits.
Flicking through the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, it’s evident that the concept of ‘engraving’ is one which has been successfully used time and again to evoke a permanence of sentiment and emotion.
One of the oldest quotes dates to Pericles, describing ‘legacy’ as “not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others”.
Pope John Paul II spoke of how the “rule of law is engraved in the hearts of men and women”. And Theodore William Richards, the pioneering scientist, described how the origin of the universe is “engraved in the atomic weights”.
Indeed it’s clear that the imagery of engraving resonates with something much more than the simple act of marking an item. It is the indelibility, the endurability, and lasting nature of an engraving which people are drawn to.
Speaking to many of our customers, we know that the engraved cufflinks, personalised necklaces and other engraved gifts they buy are intended to last a lifetime – even for the next generation.
So we’re pleased that Mick Jagger was able to call upon the imagery of engraving, to do justice to the musical legacy that the late rocker has left us.