Formal structure of  "When I'm Sixty-Four":
Intro (verse) 0:00-0:10
Verse 1 0:10-0:38
Middle 8 0:38-1:07*
Verse 2 1:07-1:34
Middle 8 1:34-2:03*
Verse 3 2:03-2:30
Coda (verse) 2:30-2:37
Comments: "Sixty-Four" is only the third Beatles track so far to feature a palindromic structure (the other two being  "I'll Be Back" and  "Strawberry Fields Forever").
The middle 8s both incorporate two distinct subsections - the first section featuring the lyrics, "Every summer we could rent a cottage..."; the second, "Grandchildren on your knee...". This division of the middle 8 is indicative of the increased emphasis on the middle 8 as a structural component observable over the Beatles' development: The middle 8, which originally served as a simple contrast to the verses, has grown in importance. By the time of "When I'm Sixty-Four", then, the middle 8 has developed to the point where it actually contains two separate sub-sections within the larger framework of the middle 8. In fact, the middle 8 is so called because its length is typically 8 measures long. In "When I'm Sixty-Four", however, it is 17 measures long. This makes me wonder about a parallel between the Beatles and Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven's chops as a composer shine most clearly in the development sections. I wonder about similarities between the Beatles' Middle 8s and Beethoven's developments. . . There is something to that idea, and I will definitely be coming back to it!
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.