When I’m Sixty-Four is a song written by Paul McCartney and released by the English rock band The Beatles on their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. But did you know how young he was when he wrote the song?
Paul McCartney wrote, “When I’m Sixty Four” when he was just 14 years old, and it was later recorded in a lower key and sped up to make his voice sound younger.
Who is Paul McCartney?
Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer, songwriter, and musician best known as the Beatles’ co-lead vocalist, co-songwriter, and bassist. He is known for his melodic bass approach, versatile and wide tenor vocal range, and musical eclecticism, exploring styles ranging from pre-rock ‘n’ roll pop to classical and electronica.
He is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. His songwriting collaboration with John Lennon is still the most successful in history.
McCartney was born on June 18, 1942, at Walton Hospital in Liverpool’s Walton district, where his mother, Mary Patricia, had trained as a nurse. His father, James McCartney, was unable to attend his son’s birth due to his service as a volunteer firefighter during World War II.
McCartney has a younger brother, Peter Michael, and a younger stepsister, Ruth, both of whom were born to his father’s second wife, Angie, during their first marriage. Even though their father was a former Protestant who had become agnostic, Paul and Michael were baptized in their mother’s Catholic faith. Religion was not prioritized in the home.
After the Beatles broke up, he released his first solo album, McCartney, in 1970, and created Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine. Wings were one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, with more than a dozen international top 10 songs and albums under McCartney’s leadership. He began touring as a solo musician in 1980 and has done so since 1989.
He has also participated in efforts to support international charities focused on animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education, among other topics.
McCartney has written or co-authored 32 songs that have charted on the Billboard Hot 100, with 25.5 million RIAA-certified units sold in the United States as of 2009. Two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an Academy Award, 18 Grammy Awards, a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1965, and a knighthood in 1997 for contributions to music are among his many accolades. With an estimated worth of £800 million as of 2020, he was one of the wealthiest musicians in the world. (Source: Britannica)
What Kind of Instrumentation was Used for the Song “When I’m Sixty Four”?
The song features a clarinet trio, which is unusual in most music genres, but especially in rock and roll. Martin stated that they were added at McCartney’s request to get around the lurking schmaltz factor in the song’s final verse by using the clarinets classically: an unusual method of harmonization, especially in 1967. (Source: Beatles Wiki)