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Happy Birthday Paul McCartney

Published in ChicagoNow, June 18, 2019

Today Sir Paul turns 77. Yikes! I still remember, as if it were yesterday (pardon the pun) the first time I heard Paul McCartney’s angelic voice. It was 1963, when I was just seventeen. I walked into a freshman mixer at the University of Michigan. That was my introduction to The Beatles, who had just released I Saw Her Standing There:

Well she was just seventeen

You know what I mean

And the way she looked

Was way beyond compare

So how could I dance with another,

Oh, when I saw her standing there.

Yep, my heart went boom. I loved this music, and I adored Paul. Back then, girls often declared themselves fans of sweet Paul McCartney or more edgy John Lennon. I was, and still am, a Paul lover.

I may never forgive him for writing When I’m Sixty-Four, making me feel pretty depressed to hit that birthday nine years ago. After all, I was still working and, while I had five very young grandkids, in no way was I knitting a sweater by the fireside, digging in my garden for weeds, or going for a car ride every Sunday. Since Paul is now 77, I’m pretty sure he regrets asking,

Will you still need me, will you still feed me

When I’m 64?

I still cry every time I hear Paul singing Hey Jude. The Beatles songs continue to speak to me. Yesterday, In My Life, All You Need is Love, The Long and Winding Road, With a Little Help From My Friends, Revolution, Let It Be, A Day in the Life, Something, Blackbird – they wrote 227 songs in the eight years they were together.

John Lennon went on to compose many of his own songs after the break up, including Give Peace a Chance and one of my all-time favorites, Imagine, before he was assassinated in 1980 at age 40, a tragic loss of a great artist. George Harrison, who wrote some awesome songs, died at age 58. Paul McCartney went on to create countless solo songs, including Maybe I’m Amazed, Band on the Run, Ebony and Ivory, Listen to What the Man Said, Live and Let Die – in all, he has written an estimated 800 songs.

Amazingly, McCartney released a new album, Egypt Station, in September 2018, his seventeenth solo album. He still performs all over the world, with dates for his Freshen Up Tour scheduled through 2019. In a 60 Minutes interview, he revealed the following nuggets of information:

  • He can’t read or write music.

  • He is still trying to prove himself.

  • He has a strong need to be liked.

  • John only complemented him on one of his songs, Here, There, and Everywhere.

  • He has eight grandkids and a fifteen-year-old daughter.

  • While he is worth over a billion dollars, he still has insecurities.

I find it inspiring that he’s still working at his age and that he is still trying to improve. As someone who also has a strong need to be liked and yet puts out blog posts that sometimes invite criticism, I have to remind myself to keep on keeping on from time to time.

Seeing Paul on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden reminded me of how talented and decent he is. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s worth 24 minutes of your time. Like me, you may tear up a few times remembering the beautiful music of created by Paul McCartney and how it touched your life.

Happy birthday Paul!


by Laurie Levy
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