Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


In 1969, Zager and Evans had a hit single: “In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus).” It was noteworthy mainly for being the only hit single Zager and Evans ever had. They managed the rare feat of dropping a chart-topping hit (it was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks that summer), after which they never again made the charts. Impressive.

I hated that song, partly because it was played to death in the summer of ’69 and partly on account of the jejune lyrics, but mostly because it spoke of a future that I would never live to see. The year 2525, after all, was a good ways off. It would be the year of my father’s six-hundredth birthday.

There were other songs, though... songs that hinted at a future that I would perhaps live to see. The most noteworthy (and popular) probably was the Beatles number from Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: “When I’m Sixty-Four. ”

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?


You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you


I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?


Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave


Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Paul McCartney had written the song as a youngster of sixteen, and it was frequently employed to fill time at The Cavern in Hamburg. It was the first track recorded for the Sergeant Pepper album. A music-hall style number, it paints a charming picture of a young man speculating about the possible life he and the lady he fancies might have after long years together. Will he still be useful? he wonders. Will he be loved? Tolerated? Good questions to be asked by anyone in a relationship of long standing.

Sergeant Pepper came out on June 1, 1967. I was fourteen at the time, a high-school freshman four months away from my fifteenth birthday. Actually being sixty-four was quite far from my mind, it being an event that, for me, would be some forty-nine years down the road. Damn near a half-century.

The Beatles envisioned as oldsters:
painting ­©1969 Michael Leonard.
But time flies when you’re having fun, they say - more accurately, it flies whether or not you’re having fun. And here we are, with my officially having attained Beatles Age as of the time and date of this posting. It saddens me that two of the Beatles never made it this far.

It is the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to boot. That’s fairly unusual, but who am I to argue with the vagaries of the lunisolar calendar?

Compared to my fourteen-year-old self, I have definitely lost some hair. Not all of it, thankfully. There’s no need for me to mend a fuse when the lights have gone, owing mainly to our having circuit breakers. I can, nevertheless, manage light electrical work, although plumbing is another matter.

I don’t do the garden or dig the weeds: I pay someone to do those tasks. And Dee doesn’t knit. But I hope I continue to stay on her good side. We have another Musical Milestone to which we aspire.

I want to get to Simon and Garfunkel Age, when it’s so terribly strange to be seventy. (“Old Friends,” from the 1968 Bookends album.) Hey, only six years to go!

1 comment:

Kevin Kim said...

What should the goyim say on such an occasion?

Happy Brith-day?

No, that can't be right...