"When I'm Sixty-Four" is a song from the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album and "Yellow Submarine" film. It was recorded on 6, 8 and 20 December 1966 at EMI Studios in London, with the album's release on 26 May 1967.
Paul McCartney supposedly wrote "When I'm Sixty-Four "when he was 16, then returned to it in 1966 because his own father turned 64 that year. As he explained it on the Aspel & Company chat show in 1984:
I wrote the tune to that [When I'm Sixty-Four] when I was sixteen. The words came a bit later when I was 24."When I'm Sixty-Four" is quite an amazing song for any age. However, as with many Paul songs, there are multiple claims as to when and how he actually wrote "When I'm Sixty-Four." John Lennon, for instance, said:
Paul wrote it in the [Liverpool] 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.The consensus appears to be that Paul wrote the song long before the Sgt. Pepper sessions and returned to it then.
However, you never know when Paul will come out with yet another recollection as to where the song came from. McCartney's not obligated to say why or when he wrote a song and he doesn't owe anyone anything, it's just that his explanations that he freely offers tend to change with the asking. So, enjoy the song and don't worry too much about the details.
|"When I'm Sixty-Four" featured in the "Yellow Submarine" film and the later "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band" live-action film.|
Along with many other peculiarities, "When I'm Sixty-Four" is unique in the rock era for featuring a bass clarinet and two B♭ clarinets playing a jaunty tune as Paul drives through the lyrics.
The Beatles originally recorded "When I'm Sixty Four" at a very slow pace, but Paul had the sound engineers speed it up to give it a more "rooty-tooty" sound. George Burns sang the song in the 1970s "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" film, perhaps the highlight of that film. "When I'm Sixty Four" is easy to sing and has great opportunities for harmonies, making it a favorite of Barbershop Quartets.