Will You Still Love Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m Sixty-Four?

When I turned 21, in June of 1967, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album that contained the song When I’m Sixty-Four. I bought the album soon after it was released and immediately liked the entire album, especially the song, When I’m Sixty-four. It was a song that had “catchy” lyrics and a melody that I couldn’t seem to get out of my mind. Click here if you would like to hear a 30 second excerpt from the song.

Paul McCartney – Do you still love him when he’s older than 64?:-)

When I’m Sixty-Four was written by Paul McCartney in 1958 when he was sixteen years old. It was first recorded in December of 1966 and as mentioned above, released in June of 1967. Some think that McCartney thought of the song while looking for material for the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band because his father had turned sixty-four in 1966. The lyrics were written such that the song is sung by a young man to his lover, and is about his plans of growing old together with her.

The instrumentation is rather unique. A clarinet trio (two B-flat soprano clarinets and a bass clarinet) is featured prominently in the song, unusual in most music genres, but particularly in the context of rock and roll. Scored by George Martin (the Beatles’ producer), he said they were added at McCartney’s request to “get around the lurking schmaltz factor” by using the clarinets “in a classical way.” In the song’s final verse, the clarinet is played in harmony with McCartney’s vocal: an unusual method of harmonization, especially in 1967. Supporting instruments include the honky-tonk piano, bass, tubular bells and electric guitar.

Well, you’re probably wondering why, in this post, I’m referring to age and the Beatles’ song, When I’m Sixty-four. On June 29, 2010, I am 64 years old. As mentioned before, I liked the song when it was released. And, I still like it!

Often times, when I was teaching mathematics, the number 64 would, in one way or another, be part of my class. As you most likely know, 64 is a perfect square (64 = 8² and √64 = 8), it’s a power of 2 (64 = 2 raised to the eighth power), it’s the value of the ninth place in the binary numeral system (100000000 ‘base 2’ = 64), etc… The point is, 64 seemed to be a part of my “everyday talk” in class.

“Pure corn from the farm”:-)

Sometimes, when 64 came up in class, I would start humming the tune of When I’m Sixty-four and sing a line or two. I know you are probably saying to yourself, “That’s corny!” You’re correct, if that’s what you think. But, that was the point! Frequently, in order to put a smile on my students’ faces and “lighten-up the class a little,” I would introduce some pure corn from the farm. :-) I called it, “pure corn from the farm” (corny) because, as I would tell my students at the beginning of each school year, I was raised on a Missouri farm and therefore, considered myself a farm boy. So, it’s only appropriate that a Missouri farm boy uses “pure corn from the farm” in his daily life. :-)

And now, let’s end this post with the lyrics to When I’m Sixty-four along with a comment from me after each line. Why am I doing this? Just to have some fun with my birthday and the words to a song that is most appropriate at this time in my life. :-)

When I’m Sixty-four

When I get older losing my hair, (Haven’t lost it all, YET! :-)

Many years from now, (Many years from now is NOW!)

Will you still be sending me a valentine (I hope so, since my love has for the past 33 years)

Birthday greetings bottle of wine? (I hope so AND I do love wine:-)

If I’d been out till quarter to three (Sorry, I can’t stay up that late ;-)

Would you lock the door, (No problem, I have a key :-)

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, (I don’t mean to sound needy, but I hope so)

When I’m sixty-four? (Yea, I am!)

oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo (Well, oo, oo, oo, to you too :-)

You’ll be older too, (ah ah ah ah ah) ( Ah yes, every year I get older and SO do you :-)

And if you say the word, (Please, keep saying it)

I could stay with you. (And I will)

I could be handy mending a fuse (I can do that, just did so recently)

When your lights have gone. (I can even change the light bulb :-)

You can knit a sweater by the fireside (No fireside on June 29 in St. Louis – Too Hot !:-)

Sunday mornings go for a ride. (How about a bicycle ride?)

Doing the garden, digging the weeds, (Absolutely – I “dig” weeds :-)

Who could ask for more? (I could, but I won’t :-)

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, (Again, I don’t mean to sound needy, but I hope so:-)

When I’m sixty-four? (Yea, I am!)

Every summer we can rent a cottage (Or a villa, in South Carolina?)

In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear (Actually, Hilton Head Island, to be clear)

We shall scrimp and save (Of course, it’s a by-product of retirement :-)

Grandchildren on your knee (Three out of my five grandchildren are too big to sit on my knee :-)

Vera, Chuck, and Dave (No, their names are Brittany, Brad, Katie, Ella & Evie)

Send me a postcard, drop me a line, (I prefer e-mail :-)

Stating point of view. (“Point of view” is a part of thinking that I really value)

Indicate precisely what you mean to say (“precisely” is an excellent standard of thinking that I value)

Yours sincerely, Wasting Away. (Sincerely, I’m not wasting away, just getting older :-)

Give me your answer, fill in a form (I love communication)

Mine for evermore (I hope so!)

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, (And again, I don’t mean to sound needy, but I truly hope so :-)

When I’m sixty-four? (Yea, I am!)

Whoo! (Well, whoo to you too! :-)

5 Comments on “Will You Still Love Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m Sixty-Four?”

  1. Happy birthday, Ron! :-)

    That was one of the loveliest songs the Beatles produced (and they remain my favorite band).


  2. Thanks,

    It was a happy birthday and the fact that Paul McCartney wrote a song for me really made it special. :-)


  3. Ron: My birthday is June 26, my friend, Marie, who just turned 93, had her birthday on June 27 and now your birthday of June 28. Next year, we’ll have to get together for a June birthday bash!


  4. Renee:

    How nice of you to write your comment exactly one month after “when I’m 64!” :-)

    Yes, let’s do get together for a June birthday bash.


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