I could be handy
Mending a fuse
When your lights have gone

The Beatles - When I'm Sixty-Four lyrics meaning


McCartney was heavily influenced by The Beatles' long-serving producer Sir George Martin in composing the finished version of this song. With Paul wanting to turn his original piano song into a vaudeville parody, but unable to compose sheet music, it was Martin's job to provide the song with it's signature clarinet score.

McCartney said in Barry Miles's biography Many Years From Now:

I thought it was a good little tune but it was too vaudevillian, so I had to get some cod lines to take the sting out of it, and put the tongue very firmly in cheek.

It's pretty much my song. I did it in a rooty-tooty variety style... George helped me on a clarinet arrangement. I would specify the sound and I love clarinets so 'Could we have a clarinet quartet?' 'Absolutely... George would score it because I couldn't do that... Of course, when George Martin was 64 I had to send him a bottle of wine.

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