So today a very dear friend of mine turns – wait for it – 64. The very same age as the song popularized by the Beatles on their Sgt. Pepper album. Funny thing is that she has a very dear friend who turns the exact same age next month. I am willing to out the latter but not the former.
When you’re only 63 and 11/12, as I happen to be, you can still speak of this cheeky age in future tense. But not for long.
According to one biography, Paul McCartney wrote “When I’m Sixty-Four” in 1958 when he was only 16 and a budding poet.
When I get older losing my hair, Many years from now. Will you still be sending me a Valentine, Birthday greetings bottle of wine?
Maybe this particular bud should never have come to flower.
But hey hey they were the Beatles! (Monkees, I loved you best in my tweenhood. Honest.)
But let’s face it: if you were a record company, would you release lyrics like this from anyone other than the Beatles?
If I’d been out till quarter to three, Would you lock the door, Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I’m sixty-four?
Sorry Liverpool Lads, Moptops, Fabulous Four. You did not have a clue of what it’s really like to be 64.
I could be handy, mending a fuse, When your lights have gone. You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings go for a ride..Doing the garden, digging the weeds, Who could ask for more?
We amazing age-defying grannies in our seventh decades mend our own fuses, thank-you-very-much. We are too busy working to knit sweaters, fireside or not, and Sunday mornings are for worship for some, working the New York Times crossword puzzle and running marathons for others.
But here’s my big beef with you, Sir Paul (ok, make that a steak-and-kidney pie). Doing the garden? Digging the weeds?
We have asked for more. But it gets worse:
Send me a postcard, drop me a line ,Stating point of view. Indicate precisely what you mean to say, Yours sincerely, wasting away
Mr. McCartney, this is the final affront. I could clot your cream for this one. At 64 we are not even close to wasting away, sincerely or otherwise. And why would you ask a woman to feed you who has already spent a lifetime in the kitchen?
Alright already – you weren’t even shaving yet when you wrote this little number. And you seriously could not imagine reaching 64 anyway.
But you have, so the papers say – luckier chap than some of your bandmates.
I’m still waiting for you to write us a new song, Sir Paul. One that the AARP crowd can rock to.
Not a silly love song; we’re still crooning our own.
And not one about yesterday. Life does not come with a warranty and we’ve no more time for nostalgia. The present matters more now than it ever did.
Those girls who used to scream at your concerts have grandgirls of our own. Tunic tops and skinny jeans have replaced our miniskirts from the 60’s. We’re not the Woodstock Generation any longer.
But we have aged. Gloriously. Beautifully. Gratefully.
We’ve raised 16-year-old lads ourselves, so we’re willing to be magnanimous given your cluelessness about growing older.
And if by chance you’re sitting idly in your London flat some night googling your name and you come across this post?
See, my older sister still has her Paul pillow with your picture on it. You were always her favorite, dear Beatle. She’s 66 now but still a girl. And you remember all those girls who adored you, don’t you Paul?
Can we have your autograph?