Lennon & McCartney: When I’m Sixty-Four (The Beatles)


Lennon & McCartney’s very ‘clarinetty’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” is a charming, tongue-in-cheek love song song about growing old together. Fun for wind quintet!

  • Instruments : Fl. Ob. Cl.(in Bb) Hn. Bsn.
  • Difficulty : C – approx. ABRSM Grade 5
  • Duration : 2’45
  • ISMN : 979-0-708088-96-7
  • Portus Press reference : PPQ54
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When I’m Sixty-Four is one of the songs on the Beatles’ 1967 album – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  Paul McCartney wrote the music in 1958 when he was 15 years old but reworked it and added new lyrics as a tribute to his Dad on his 64th birthday.  The Beatles (then known as The Quarrymen) used to play the original version of the song whenever technical problems forced them to play acoustic.

John’s lyrical contribution is believed to be in naming the imaginary grandchildren ‘Vera, Chuck, and Dave’ and he also added a nifty jazz solo on guitar to the third verse.  Adding his own, unique touch, producer George Martin’s arrangement used two clarinets and a bass clarinet to lend the song a music-hall feel – a feature unusual in most music genres, but particularly in the context of rock and roll.

When I’m Sixty-Four is essentially a love song sung by a young man to his girlfriend about his plans of growing old together with her.  Sadly, Paul had separated from his then wife by the time he turned 64 in 2006 – but his grandchildren reportedly surprised him at his birthday party by playing their own version of the song for him.

The track was recorded in C, but was sped up to D flat in order to make it sound more energetic and youthful.  Here this charming Beatles track is presented in an arrangement for wind quintet, in its original key.

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For copyright reasons this title is only available in printed sheet music format.  Also for copyright reasons, it is not available to customers in North America and Japan.

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