By Lee Scott
Fifty years ago, in November of 1967, I turned 14 years old. It was that same year that the Beatles released a song on their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album titled “When I’m 64.”
Now 50 years later, here I am, walking around my house singing “When I’m 64.”
It’s hard to imagine that my 14-year-old self would ever guess she would someday turn 64. I am of the generation that did not want to be older than 30. But somewhere along the way, 30 seemed kind of fun, and then came my 40s, 50s and now my 60s. Each year brings new adventures.
But Paul McCartney’s words seem foreign in many ways now as I look around at all the men and women I know who are in their 60s and 70s.
These are vibrant active people. Many are still working, not willing to stop and just take a “ride on a Sunday morning,” unless it is in a golf cart. The lyrics suggest something of an end-of-life connotation as if there is nothing else left.
“He can be handy mending a fuse.”
“You can knit a sweater by the fireside.”
The song lyrics also do not suggest that Paul, at 25 when the song was released, would have every guessed that 50 years later he would still be performing concerts.
According to his website, he is going on tour next month in Australia, performing five concerts in Australia and one in New Zealand.
It did appear that he planned on growing old with a spouse. But his wife Linda died at the age of 56 after being married to Paul for 29 years.
Sometimes, life throws a curve ball, and things you planned when you were young are not able to happen. But happily, his wife Nancy, 57, will be with him for a while.
No, I am not “losing my hair,” and neither is my spouse, but I do expect “birthday greetings with a bottle of wine.” And although we do have many grandchildren, not one of them is named “Vera, Chuck or Dave.” Still the song is sweet and appropriate for me to be singing as I welcome this birthday turning 64.
And so, as I sauntered up behind my spouse yesterday and once again sang the last line of the song, which ends with this question, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?”
My spouse turned to me and said, “Yes, only if you promise not to spend the next year singing that song.”
We shall see.