I wrote this sort of free-form poem/lyric thing a while ago; I don’t particularly know why. Then a couple of days ago there was a little article in the Guardian about how ‘When I’m 64’ had been branded a song that portrayed ageing in a negative way, which brought it back to mind. Then George Martin’s death was announced, and I thought I might write something about George Martin, but as usual it’s all been said already, apart from a little point I made on Twitter about how he had a rare open mind amongst his contemporaries.
Anyway. Negative? I’ll give you negative. Here’s my ever-so cheerful with-apologies-to-Paul thing, that should probably be read in a morose and flat Liverpudlian accent.
So now I’m 64.
Losing the fight against bitterness.
Bald by my forties; didn’t see that one coming.
Here on my own.
I’m sorry things didn’t work out.
When the Valentines petered out, I knew.
Then just the dutiful birthday cards.
This morning, an empty letterbox.
So that bottle of wine turned into two; three…
And you started locking me out, both metaphorically and literally
You said you didn’t need me staggering in at quarter to three
expecting dinner on the table.
You’ll be no spring chicken yourself now.
If you’d just pick up the phone?
I lost my confidence.
‘Get a man in!’ you barked, as I fumbled with the electrics.
Long silent evenings staring into the electric fire.
Morose car journeys to the garden centre.
So I started to spend more and more time out of the house
Hacking away my disappointments with spade and secateurs
While you chatted to your friends on that ‘Facebook’
And the microwave went ping.
You said I was tight.
But I thought we liked it there.
Familiar beaches, the same faces in the café.
And what’s wrong with the Isle of Wight anyway?
Perhaps if the kids hadn’t gone.
I got a photo the other day.
Chuck and Dave, in the paddling pool in Brisbane.
They’ll be big lads when they grow up.
Just pick up the phone, love.
Let me know where I stand.
But I think I know the answer.
Now I’m sixty-four.