Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

Sir Paul McCartney wrote “When I’m Sixty-Four” when he was only 16. I first heard it on the “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” album when I was 16. At the time, it was nothing more than another really good song on an album that would become one of my all time favorites.

I had no concept of the age of 64. My father was 53, my mother was 50, and my grandparents were long passed. I had remembered my maternal grandfather as just ‘old’ and married since 1919 to my grandmother. In those days you didn’t ask people how old they were, you just assumed an age or settled for ‘much older than me.’

At 16 I had not yet experienced my first love. My parents had been divorced, my sister was divorced, and the thought of being with someone until I was the advanced age of 64 had no meaning for me. I was a 60s kid and the very idea of being 30 brought on the dreaded thoughts of debilitation and disease.

But then I was in my 30s and my now long married life began. In another month we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary. We lived a great life. We raised children. We cherished each other. And now the words of this nice little song come to life for me.

Today I have completed my sixty-fourth year of life. And when I sing this song around the house I look at my wife with the refrain ‘Will you still need me, will you still feed me, …’ and smile with ‘you’ll be older too …’ Now there remains no question for us to take care of each other as we age. This is only a question for kids who slide through their youth without the certainty of what a long-lasting relationship and marriage means.

I’ve never talked much about my age. Birthdays, and the associated celebrations become just another ‘Hallmark holiday’ to me. You turn 40, then you are in your 40s. You turn 50, and then you are in your 50s. After a while, one year turns into another and you don’t care if you’re 46 or 47. You care that you are living a happy life. You care that you love your spouse more than anything. You care that your children mean everything to you.

I have been fortunate to age well. I have no diseases or conditions, yet I’m a little slower than I was. My wit is not as quick or as sharp. That is to be expected and I feel no remorse for it all. I have been given this life to make of it what I can. I continue to do so. I will continue for as long as I can.

And so I sing to you my sweetheart, ‘will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?’

About J T Weaver

The author of "Uphill Both Ways," a thought provoking series of stories about life, family, and growing up.
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71 Responses to Will you still need me, will you still feed me,

  1. Atomic Words says:

    This is incredibly sweet and true. I happy for you and a happy belated birthday. I grew up with grandparents who were married forever(as far as I’m concerned 😀) and parents who have been married for almost 40 years. And with my generation loosing the meaning of love and marriage, I pray that I and my future husband can say the same and know it to be true.

    Like

  2. Fiona says:

    The Husband is in the penultimate year of his three score and ten. I’m a bit younger (a lot..) but 64 no longer seems old. And thirty years together, an entire generation, is something ofnwhich to be enormously proud.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. milliethom says:

    Well, JT, I passed being 64 four years ago and have been married for 45 years. We’ve brought up six children and we’re still going strong. Like you, we’ve no major health issues yet. Also like you, we had a year of singing that song, and not feeling old at all. I was at uni in Liverpool when the Beattles started in the famous Cavern Club, but I never went there. It’s funny how songs can trigger certain memories and make you smile. Happy (belated) birthday!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. leggypeggy says:

    I had no idea Sir Paul wrote that song when he was 16. Incredible and insightful. Thanks for bringing back the memory of it. It will play in my head for the rest of the day—or beyond. By the way, I celebrate birthdays but don’t count them, so I blissfully have no idea how old I am. 🙂

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  5. Judy says:

    I am not too far behind you having completed my 64th year on the planet in Feb of this year. I can certainly remember when I thought 30 was old!! But, the irony is when you feel in your 30’s at 64 and look in the mirror and yikes!! Although I have to say I have been feeling every one of those years lately!! Luckily, long marriage here too and we will look after each other ’til the last day.
    Your post is sweet and as I help out my 91 year old dad and 86 year old mother, I feel the poignancy all the time. Mom has dementia issues that run down her family line, and so I regard each monthly visit as a chance to write down some family stories while I can from both of them. Oh, here’s the feeling 64 part…..its a laugh when they try and tell me things….I have 80% hearing loss. Mom will forget what she said and I’ll just say, it’s ok, I didn’t hear you very well !! We try again. Gotta laugh at some of life’s little insults!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • J T Weaver says:

      Thanks Judy. Coming up on 65 soon. New challenges, new experiences, more grandchildren? One never knows, and that’s the beauty of it all.

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      • Judy says:

        And we get to learn all about medicare, advantage plans, medigap, social security benefits and when. See getting older is such an adventure!! I suppose you are in the throes of those kinds of decisions too!! More grandchildren is one of the very best parts!! But, you are right, the path is not always predictable and that keeps it interesting!!

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        • J T Weaver says:

          Yes, I’ve got SS figured out. Now Medicare on the other hand, …

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          • Judy says:

            Too many details but I guess the big Medicare surprise for me was in considering a Medicare Advantage Plan. I thought that you could use Original Medicare for any doctor and your Advantage Plan for the doctors who take it. Turns our it is either/or. So that is a problem if all the doctors you have do not take the same Advantage Plan as Medicare runs through that then. I am thinking of just doing Original Medicare the first year so I don’t limit my pool of doctors. Problem is no cap then on out of pocket stuff which is no big deal unless you have a big deal thing happen!! Oh well!! Still a newbie doing research. Best of success to you as you navigate this part of turning 65.

            I really like your thoughts on trying to offer family continuity through family stories, I am trying to do the same thing. Even bought a good scanner for the wealth of old photographs I’ve been entrusted with. So spending time mending cracks and healing spots on some treasured old photos. Amazing really how long old photos do last.

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  6. Sweet, and beautifully expressed.

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  7. Dani says:

    What a lovely post, J T. Now I know why I felt such a connection to you and your writing…we share a birthday month (mine is 11/17) and, if you believe in that sort of thing, a common sign. I do hope you had a special celebration of life and love with your sweet.

    Here’s to many, many more.

    With blessings,
    Dani

    P.S. Thank you for this:

    “Now there remains no question for us to take care of each other as we age. This is only a question for kids who slide through their youth without the certainty of what a long-lasting relationship and marriage means.”

    Like

  8. Happy Birthday, JT! What another lovely way to show us how to proceed with grace. You’re a good one, friend.

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  9. Another beautiful one. Thanks.

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  10. Happy B-day! I very much enjoyed this post. I couldn’t help thinking how well you would’ve fitted into my old writing group with your writing style…(memoirs). Hope your day is followed by another wonderful year!

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  11. ptero9 says:

    Happy Birthday JT! Very sweet. I hope she says “yes” again. 🙂
    Debra

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Jann foster

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  13. Happy Birthday! Today is my mother’s birthday as well. She is 65 and a Beatles fan too! She gave me all her Beatles records when I was about preschool age so the Beatles are a huge influence on my life too. What a gift!

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  14. Happy Birthday! And you picked one of my favorite Beatles songs. I remember singing it at the time with a friend from Czechoslovakia. We were in our 20s then, and we sang it each time we met in the years that followed, laughing as we reached our 60s. He didn’t live to reach 64, and I still think of him every time I hear that song. Aging is the hardest and most amazing experience I’ve ever had and I’m hoping it goes on for a long while more!

    Like

  15. What an insightful essay. Just loved it. Yes, age, in many ways, is such a strange notion. Well that’s my theory! 😉

    I mean if becoming 64 takes some adjusting to, try out 70! That weird event tapped me on the shoulder last Saturday!

    Like

  16. Paul Grignon says:

    Beautifully written and quite touching. Happy B-day to you, and may your day of days bring you much comfort, joy, and contemplation of, what appears to be, a contented life. Congratulations also on your 30th! Quite a milestone. And, after reading your lovely prose, I can assure you your wit and humor are very much intact.

    Thank you for this wonderful post. It was a pleasure to read your words.

    Take care,
    Paul

    Like

  17. ksbeth says:

    happy birthday, and of course, as long as we still have our voices )

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  18. grannyK says:

    A very happy birthday to you!!

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  19. Excellent!!! Thanks, Bob God bless, JT.

    Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 05:29:27 +0000 To: xlbobs@msn.com

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  20. You still have a lot of life in your years! Happy Birthday!

    Like

  21. Lovely post. How nice to find it in my inbox!

    Like

  22. Fay Kesby says:

    Beautifully written – and I am very jealous of the person who got the record, I’ve been looking for an affordable second hand one forever! I do have some other amazing Beatles records though to make up for it.

    Like

  23. Lovely, truthful post.

    Like

  24. bkpyett says:

    The Beatles songs still bring back that era of hope and love. I’m lucky too to have someone to sing this song to, and I wish you and your wife many years ahead of good health and happiness.

    Like

  25. davidprosser says:

    Your post reminded me (cruelly) that I shall be 64 in January. Unfortunately as my wife passed away last year I can only sing to the fish now and I’m pretty sure the message I get is along the lines of “We don’t need you, just the food”.I am lucky enough, like you, to share parenthood and I think my daughter still needs me as I’m pretty sure my son-in-law does and most certainly my grandson who would have no-one to terrorise otherwise.
    I’ve made a point of always telling Yvonne stories of my childhood, of the pivotal moments in my life and as much of the family history as I can bring to mind. Apart from the family tree I also gave her a book showing the history of addresses the family have lived in, our schools, any awards, exams taken and passed, favourite music, special song even cars had. I’d like it to be a reference for years to come and one that she may repeat for her son so the volumes grow. This book looks very like the one I did EBAY 311163304031 but I know that Readrs Digest also do one but it’s considerably more expensive, I believe theirs is Our Family History .
    Congratulations on a great post.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Jill's Scene says:

    I remember my husband and I singing this song with my parents and their friends when Dad turned 64. Now it’s only a few years off for us. Many happy returns of the day to you.

    Like

  27. brickthomas says:

    I enjoyed your thoughts very much. Thanks for sharing and happy birthday!

    Like

  28. speakzeasy says:

    Hello. I got nostalgic when I read that post. I belong to the same generation. Will you still need me …….. and before I could go on with the post, I sang to myself ‘when I’m 64’. All the old songs came rushing back– Paper Roses, Wooden Heart, Green Fields, Delilah, I’d Like To Be, Wallflower, etc,. I also went through the post you wrote to your children

    Like

  29. marianbeaman says:

    I remember buying this single for a colleague when she was 64. My husband is beyond that age and I can attest to our enduring love – he still needs me, we feed each other at least metaphorically!

    Like

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