The song is sung by a young man to his lover and is about his plans of their growing old together. Although the theme is ‘ageing’, it was one of the first songs McCartney wrote, when he was 16. It was in the Beatles' ‘fill-in’ list in their early days as a song to perform when their amplifiers broke down or the electricity went off. George Martin speculated that McCartney may have thought of the song when recording began in December 1966 because his father turned 64 earlier that year.
It is a strange thing about life but when one is a child, conceiving of ever reaching retirement age is beyond one’s wildest imagination. Indeed, whereas children enjoy becoming a teenager once they reach the age of puberty, from their mid-teens onwards, they cannot wait to be considered as a man or a woman. They view adult status as representing greater independence and better prospects for earning more money, travelling to more places and enjoying life in many more different ways then children and young persons do.
After the magic age of 21 has been reached (perhaps 25 years of age maximum), almost everyone alive would wish to remain at that age forever were it possible. One starts to fear the approach of 30, especially if one remains unmarried, and 40 becomes that stage in life when many women who haven't had a child but want to give birth, start to fear that their body’s reproduction organs are on the verge of ‘shut down’ and will no longer wait for them to embrace 'motherhood'.
One’s 50th birthday is approached in trepidation by men who now see retirement on their horizon. They start to fear having insufficient income to live on when they retire and curse themselves for not having put more into their pension pot during earlier years when they could better afford. Women start to see the collapse of their femininity as each body part that once attracted the fixed eyes of admiring men start to fall all around them. Sex has long since dropped off also within their marriages. Many begin to wish that they’d put more effort into their ‘passion pot’ during previous decades as they experience their husbands sometimes start an extra-marital affair with a 30s-something stick insect who looks like she’s devoured more husbands in her extra-marital affairs than she's had hot dinners!
When we look at things, we must admit that it is still a man’s world when older men can still get the best of the young female crop while the older woman is often viewed by a man as being 'passed it' any time after she has left 40 years behind her. It will prove more difficult for females to find another suitable partner on the dating scene the older they get as the odds are stacked in a man's favour of coming up trumps first in the game of love.
And, it no longer seems to matter if the man is bald, overweight and has a beer belly. He still has better dating prospects than a woman of finding a suitable partner. Even when marriage initially eludes him, receiving adequate compensation of 'bed and breakfast' experiences on the dating scene will fend off the onset of discouragement and provide him with the courage to continue looking for the one to marry.
And yet, when a home-owning woman still retains her attractive features and slim looks into her 50's, she still has her work cut out to find a suitable marriageable male on the dating scene, (who isn't just wanting 'a bit on the side' and a roof above his head with free bed and breakfast thrown in along with other benefits).
However, 50-year-old women on the dating scene who neither own their own house nor still retain their fetching looks have virtually no chance of meeting Mr Right. Add the disadvantage of them having a big belly without a waistline, but with too much loose skin and stretch marks containing too many wobbly folds of flesh that conceal rows of empty shelves, plus an extra stone on the wrong side of the scales; add all these body features and their chances of ever finding a marriage partner disappears entirely. They may as well become professional baby-sitting grandmas for the rest of their lives, take up knitting, baking and jam making and head for the nearest Woman's Institute (WI). Indeed, if a woman was a child, her most understandable and justifiable response would be ‘It’s just not fair!’
I cannot end this post, however, without reporting that whereas there are some men and women whose ageing body signs send them into periods of prolonged depression, there are more men and women both approaching and past retirement age who are finding a new kind of happiness which they never imagined. These are individuals, who, instead of trying to fight off the signs of advancing years are happy in their own skin and with their natural looks. These are people who see maturation and increased wisdom in the stages of getting older. These are people who have found advantages in what they once considered to be unwanted aspects of their lives at the time; like the pleasure of being peaceful more often, and alone when one chooses to be and with others when one requires stimulation and human interaction.
These are men and women who long ago learned that beauty comes from within. They know that when life brings with it, a pleasure from within oneself, no more is required to be done or artificially added to remain happy. So many people have found there to be far more important things than the mere physicality of relationships and discover that sexual satisfaction is obtainable in so many ways, if and when required.
As for being 64, that milestone passed a dozen years ago for me and I now live with the most beautiful woman in the world; beautiful on the inside and on the outside in equal measure. As for my looks today, I'm afraid that I tend to fit into that image of most older men whose outward appearance in weight, balding hairline and a bit of a belly would make me 'an average joe'.
Love and peace Bill xxx