It was of course the team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney — as singers, songwriters, and instinctive harmonists — that was the organic entity that made the Beatles. We celebrate Paul McCartney’s birthday; today he turns 64. It is a birthday that resonates with his own work, though somewhat ironically. All of 16 at the time he wrote “When I’m 64,” McCartney envisioned himself asking his prospective wife: “Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m 64?” The woman who seems to have been the love of his life herself died eight years ago at age 56, long before McCartney’s sixty-fourth birthday.
Bring to mind any one of his tough, beautiful, moving songs — “Things We Said Today,” “We Can Work It Out,” “What You’re Doing,” “I’m Looking Through You,” “Here, There and Everwhere,” “Penny Lane,” “Blackbird,” your own personal favorite. Recall the closing words of his throwaway rocker off the “White Album” — “I’m glad it’s your birthday/Happy birthday to you.”