Now I’m 64

In 1967, I was fifteen years old. The Beatles released a song titled, ‘When I’m Sixty-Four.’ I wasn’t a huge fan of the group at the time, and thought that this song was rather corny, and not the sort of thing a young soul fan should be listening to. However, I did think about being sixty-four, which seemed to be so far in the future, I expected to be commuting to the Moon by then, or living in a futuristic city, wearing a silver one-piece suit. None of that happened of course, and today, I made it to that mythical age.

I felt prompted to examine the lyrics of that old song, and see how relevant they actually were, to a sixty-four year old Londoner, retired to Norfolk, and not feeling as perky as he once did.

“When I’m Sixty Four”

When I get older losing my hair
(Hair loss confirmed)
Many years from now
(It is many years, agreed)
Will you still be sending me a valentine
(I got a card and present)
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
(Yes, to both)
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
(No chance of me being out that late anymore)
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
(I feel needed, and I am fed)
When I’m sixty-four?

You’ll be older too
(But she’s not as old as me)
And if you say the word
I could stay with you
(I’m staying)

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
(I can probably mend a fuse, but not much else)
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
(Knitting doesn’t happen. Shop-bought)
Sunday mornings go for a ride
(By the time we get up and have breakfast, no time for rides)
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
(I mow the lawn, but not much digging or weeding goes on)
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
(As above)
When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
(We do rent cottages, just not on the Isle of Wight)
We shall scrimp and save
(We save, but never scrimp. Not yet, anyway)
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave
(Only one so far, and not called by any of those names)

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
(No need, she’s already here)
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
(Not wasting away just yet, but getting there)
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
(She filled in a marriage licence, so that counts)
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
(I think we can conclude in the affirmative)
Ho
(?)

So the Beatles got it about right, short of some geographical and knitting references.
Nothing much has changed in the last forty-nine years, after all.
All together now, “Happy Birthday To You” etc…

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38 thoughts on “Now I’m 64

  1. Great song and great post! I had a glorious year singing this to everyone when I turned 64. Still a diehard Beatles fan from 1964 to turning 64. Happy Birthday, Pete.

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  2. I had Paul McCartney sing the song in my head as I read the lyrics, and, of course, I voiced your comments along the way. Although I’m pretty much familiar with all of the Beatles songs, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the only Beatles album I actually own. I enjoy listening to every song on the album, including “When I’m Sixty-Four.” I think using the song for comparative purposes was brilliant, and I’m going to shout ‘Happy Birthday, Pete!” across the pond just as soon as I hit the “Post Comment” button here! So lend me your 64-year-old ears. Ready?.

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  3. Pete: Happy Birthday, may you have many more. I enjoyed your comments enormously. At a young age I too never imagined the words to have any significance. That’s life. Mind you I am a happy single man! Enjoy this evening, I hope you will be enjoying a good meal and some fine wine tonight. Brian x

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    1. Just back from the traditional beach outing, Brian. Food and wine planned for later, as you suspected.
      Glad to hear you liked the ‘song lyrics’ concept.
      Take care old friend. xx

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  4. Happy Birthday Pete!! xxx

    What a brilliant post, I loved it. Your own thoughts between the song lyrics were great 🙂

    Hope you’re feeling well and have a great day planned! xxx

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