My dad, one of the most supportive, amazing, inspiring people in my life, turns 64 today. Yet, he strikes me as not being a day over 50, thanks, perhaps, to a lucky combination of genetics, spirit and attitude (and I would argue that it’s truly a factor of the latter two).
At any rate, the occasion of the day brought the Beatles’ “When I’m 64” to mind. Although I know and love the Beatles well, this is one song wherein I’ve never paid particular attention to the lyrics. Though released on 1967’s Sergent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, it was written by Paul McCartney as a 16-year old. This might explain the innocent simplicity of lyrics such as “will you still need me / will you still feed me / When I’m sixty-four,” in light of the vastly more sophisticated composition for which the record is known. Although it’s the song that broke their string of #1s dating to 1963, it remains a quirky kind of classic, not least of all for it’s unusual inclusion of a soprano-and-bass clarinet trio and honkey-tonk piano. It’s hard not to smile and at least give a passing thought to actually being 64.