The Beatles’ ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’: What John Lennon Said He’d Be Doing at That Age

The Beatles‘ “When I’m Sixty-Four” appeared on a classic album. Subsequently, John Lennon was asked what he planned to do at age 64. In addition, John explained why he would never have written a song like “When I’m Sixty-Four.”

The Beatles' John Lennon wearing blue
The Beatles’ John Lennon | Ron Howard/Redferns

The Beatles’ John Lennon lived his life 1 week at a time

The book Lennon Remembers contains an article from 1970. In it, John was asked what he expected to do in the next three months. “I’d like to just vanish a bit,” he said. It wore me out, New York. I love it.

“I’m just sort of fascinated by it, like a f****** monster,” he added. “Doing the films was a nice way of meeting a lot of people. I think we’ve both said and done enough for a few months, especially with this article.”

Subsequently, John was asked about his plans for the next few years. “Oh, no, I couldn’t think of the next few years; it’s abysmal thinking of how many years there are to go, millions of them,” he said. “I just play it by the week. I don’t think much ahead of a week.”

John Lennon revealed why he never would have written The Beatles’ ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’

In reference to The Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four,” John was asked if he had an idea of what his life would be like when he was 64. “No, no,” he replied. “I hope we’re a nice old couple living off the coast of Ireland or something like that, looking at our scrapbook of madness.”

The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono includes a 1980 interview. In it, John was asked about “When I’m Sixty-Four.” “Paul’s completely,” he said. “I would never even dream of writing a song like that. There’s some things I never think about, and that’s one of them.” Sadly, John was murdered at age 40.


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How ‘When I’m ‘Sixty-Four’ and its parent album performed on the pop charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“When I’m Sixty-Four” was never a single, so it didn’t hit the Billboard Hot 100. The Beatles included the tune on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album topped the Billboard 200 for 15 weeks, lasting on the chart for 233 weeks in total.

“When I’m Sixty-Four” was not a single in the United Kingdom either. According to The Official Charts Company, it did not chart there. Meanwhile, Sgt. Pepper became a massive hit in the U.K. The album reached No. 1 in the U.K. for 28 weeks, remaining on the chart for 277 weeks altogether.

“When I’m Sixty-Four” is a famous Beatles song — even if it’s not the sort of song John would have written.