“A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.” ~ Anonymous
The bottom nearly fell out of my world when Sir Paul, my eternal Valentine, married that Nancy woman recently.
I know. She’s rich, slender and probably has her perky moments, but the important question is, Can she bake a good pie?
I am crushed Macca didn’t even think to call and tell me. Here I’ve been his
love slave loyal true-blue fan for over 40 years (I first heard “She Loves You” in utero ), and nary a word. Now that he’s got a new Honey Pie, what am I to do?
Bake! Bake deep, rich, decadent, devil-may-care this will make me forget all about him Bake. Take no prisoners Bake. And to get me through Valentine’s Day, only chocolate will do.
I considered my options — Pioneer Woman’s French Silk Pie? Saveur’s Thin Edge of the Wedge Chocolate Pudding or Molten Chocolate Cake? I could have gone all retro and dug out my old Midnight Chocolate Cake recipe (so good, diehard football fans actually stopped watching the 1992 Superbowl game to eat it). And I hadn’t made my famous Chocolate Cheesecake in a long, long time.
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James Paul McCartney and his father James “Jim” McCartney at age 64.
Tomorrow is Sir Paul’s birthday and Sunday is Father’s Day — what better time to feature a song Paul wrote with his dad in mind?
“When I’m Sixty Four” has always been one of my favorites. Whenever I hear it, I feel a little ’goofy-happy,’ probably because of its rooty-toot rhythm and slightly mocking tone. Ah, those bouncy clarinets! You may know that Jim McCartney had a big influence on Paul’s musical upbringing. Self taught on the piano and trumpet, Jim played in ragtime and jazz bands in Liverpool during the twenties and thirties. He encouraged Paul to take music lessons and taught him to sing harmony.
Music was central in the McCartney household — they listened to the radio and Jim’s 78 rpm records, and of course, Jim played popular dance hall tunes on the upright piano (which Paul, reputedly, still owns). Paul’s granddad Joe was also musical. An opera lover who was more of a traditionalist, he played the double bass and tuba.
Paul wrote the melody for “When I’m Sixty Four” with Jim’s encouragement when he was just 16. When the Beatles were still the Quarrymen, the song was a “stand-in number” when the amps weren’t working or the electricity went off. It wasn’t until Jim turned 64 in 1966 that Paul decided to revise and record what would become the first completed cut for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, widely regarded as one of the most important and influential rock albums in popular music. When Paul himself turned 64, his children sang the song to him as a birthday present.
When I first heard the song as a teenager, 64 seemed positively ancient. Now, not so much . . . ☺.
♥ Full lyrics here.
♥ Jone has the Roundup today at Check it Out. Dance on over and enjoy all the cool poems being shared around the blogosphere this week.
Happy 69th Birthday, Sir Paul, and Happy Father’s Day weekend to all!
Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.
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So, did you watch Sir Paul receive the Gershwin Prize on PBS last night?
Len and I liked the program so much, we watched it twice in a row. When Paul was first introduced, I thought to myself that if I had been in the room, that close to him, I would have died, simply died right there on the spot.
It was great hearing other artists’ interpretations of McCartney’s songs. Though I enjoyed Emmylou Harris’s version of “For No One,” was transported to a place of peace and calm with Lang Lang’s “Celebration” on the piano, and am now crushing bigtime on Dave Grohl, it was Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Blackbird” that totally blew me away. OMG. Knowing the history behind the song, it being sung by an African American woman in President Obama’s White House — just wow. So pure, poignant, laden with decades of hurt and struggle. And Elvis Costello did a great job with ”Penny Lane.” Loved it.
In case you missed the broadcast, you will soon be able to view it in its entirety at the PBS website. Meanwhile, here’s a fabulous interview with McCartney; it’s about 30 minutes long, but well worth your time — includes behind the scenes footage of him at the Library of Congress, and lots of discussion about his musical influences and creative process. ☺
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