Beatles Paul McCartney,

Looking into the future….

Imagine a teenager writing the music about a situation (at the time hypothetical) that could arise in his life 50 years later, asking his father about it. The words to the music were actually written years later. The song has been one of my favourite numbers and I posed it to Aruna before we got married.

Paul McCartney wrote the music for this when he was about 15, and used to play it when The Beatles were still known as The Quarrymen. He put lyrics to it later actually in honour of his father’s 64th birthday. This was actually the first song recorded for the hugely popular Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

No less a person than the legendary John Lennon said of this piece of musical milestone: “I would never even dream of writing a song like that.”

This was used in the Robin Williams movie The World According to Garp.

This used be a favourite of The Beatles when they would survive on the club shows, (in their Quarrymen avatar) where the club owners made them play for hours. When their (by today’s standards primitive) amplifiers overheated, they would continue to perform this around a piano in the club.

John Lennon’s son, Julian recorded a version of this that was used in 2002 commercials for Allstate insurance. This was actually unusual for Julian, who usually tried to steer away from his illustrious father’s legacy in an effort to create his own separate identity.

The title is also the name of a BBC television show starring Paul Freeman and Alun Armstrong as two older men who fall in love with each other.

This song was referred to in the movie Shanghai Knights, starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. In the scene where Roy O’Bannon (Wilson) is fantasizing about his future family and life with Chon Lin, he mentions his kids’ names: “Vera, Chuck, and Dave.” The names appear in the song.

In the 2007 musical Across The Universe, the main character, Jude, has his ticket stamped to New York by an elderly man who says that he would have left the city sooner when he was young, but he is now 64 and still working at the shipyard. It’s a definite reference to this song by McCartney that didn’t make it into the movie, which features only Beatles numbers.

The original recording actually was sung in a slower tempo, take a look at this first recording by Paul McCartney.

This was sped up by George Martin, in the style of the 20s big bands, and called “retro rock” and this is the version which we are more familiar with.

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine

If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four

You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more

Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four

Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four

A wonderful song I’ve loved for 50 years which both of us remembered last evening while thinking of Kodaikanal and the very un-Orwellian 1984.

Have fun, folks, stay happy and healthy. Stay safe as the summer dissipates and gives away to the long awaited monsoons


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

4 replies on “Looking into the future….”

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