Monday, May 30, 2016

Beatles – "When I'm Sixty-Four" (1967)

Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

Admit it.  When you first heard this song in 1967, you laughed at the idea that you would ever be 64 years old – am I right?

2 or 3 lines turns 64 today.  By which I mean that I turn 64 today.  (To paraphrase Louis XIV, “Le 2 or 3 lines, c’est moi!”)

Thankfully, I didn't get a birthday cake like this one:

In case no one has told you, sixty-four is OLD.  

As the French aphorist La Rochefoucauld observed, “Few persons know how to be old.”  (I am certainly not one of them.)

The Italian author Cesare Pavese correctly noted that, “The real affliction of old age is remorse.”

Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky – who died when he was still years shy of age 64 – made perhaps the most astute observation about old age when he said, “Old age is the most unexpected of things that can happen to a man.”  (Trotsky wrote that before he was murdered by an assassin wielding an ice-axe.  Being attacked with an ice-axe is probably an even more unexpected thing than old age.) 

That’s enough waxing philosophical about old age.  When you're 64, the ship of youth – and the ship of middle age – has long since sailed.  There’s no use whining like a little b*tch about it, is there?

Let’s move on to today’s featured song.  “When I’m Sixty-Four” is a Paul McCartney song that was released on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – the most overrated of all Beatles albums.  (“A Day in the Life” may be the Beatles’ best song ever, and there are two or three other good songs on the album.  But much of Sgt. Pepper is total crap, thanks in large part to Paul McCartney.)

Paul McCartney turned 64 in 2006
2 or 3 lines comes not to praise “When I’m Sixty-Four,” but to bury it.

Everything about it – the words, the music, and the stupid clarinet part – is bad.  I’m not sure you could make it any worse even if you tried.

Did you know that when McCartney was turning 64 in 2006, his kids recorded a version of the song with revised lyrics as a surprise present for him?

The McCartneys in happier times
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but McCartney and his second wife, Heather Mills, separated just before McCartney's birthday.  (So much for still needing and still feeding Sir Paul when he turned 64.)

Lady McCartney (which is how Mills is properly addressed) ended up collecting about $48 million when the couple got divorced.  (The McCartneys separated less than four years after tying the knot, so that was a pretty good payday.)

Here’s “When I’m Sixty-Four”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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