Old Friends – 64, 70 and beyond

Yesterday Rachel and I had a lovely day with Tim and Jill. Friends for about 50 years. They sang at our wedding.

‘When I’m 64’

‘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?’

Paul McCartney wrote this song when he was 16; reaching 64 was far in the distance. He cheerfully asks questions about changes …

Appearances, needs and relationships change. He speaks of holidays (Isle of Wight) and grandchildren (Vera, Chuck and Dave). Life at 64 was very different but OK.

Like McCartney I’ve reached 64

‘Old Friends/Bookends’

Old friends, sat on their park bench
Like bookends….

Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy

Paul Simon saw old age more wistfully. Imagining being 70…sitting on their park bench, quiet, unimportant, ignored… ‘It’s terribly strange’

Time changes us; bodies and minds work more slowly; we feel less effective, less efficient.

‘Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear…’

Like Simon I’ve reached 70

It’s me!

The world is for the young, beautiful, intelligent, famous and powerful. I am none of these

Counting the years with Tim and Jill reminded me: I am now a ‘senior citizen’. I do not avoid the label to avoid feeling less important, useful or valuable.


I return to the counter-cultural Biblical wisdom….

Solomon: ‘The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise, or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned…

Paul: ‘I have learnt the secret of being content in any and every situation.’


‘When I’m 64’ –The Beatles (1967) – Lennon-McCartney – actually written by Paul McCartney when he was 16.

Old Friends/Bookends – Simon and Garfunkel (1968) – written by Paul Simon

Ecclesiastes 9:11, Philippians 4:12

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