I’ve always loved this song! Absolutely Unique to The Beatles! No one sings it like McCartney, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the music, hamming it up, and sharing with anyone who’s willing to enjoy this classic with me. I’m just havin’ fun!
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"When I'm Sixty-Four" is a song by The Beatles, written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon/McCartney) and released in 1967 on their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The song is sung by a young man to his lover, and is about his plans of growing old together with her. Although the theme is aging, it was one of the first songs McCartney wrote, when he was sixteen. The Beatles used it in the early days as a song they could play when the amplifiers broke down or the electricity went off. Both George Martin and Mark Lewisohn speculated that McCartney may have thought of the song when recording began for Sgt. Pepper in December 1966 because his father turned 64 earlier that year.
Lennon said of the song, "Paul wrote it in the Cavern days. We just stuck a few more words on it like 'grandchildren on your knee' and 'Vera, Chuck and Dave' ... this was just one that was quite a hit with us." In his 1980 interview for Playboy he said, "I would never even dream of writing a song like that."
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 Martin, 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, drum set, tubular bells and electric guitar.
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