A gentle tribute Paul McCartney wrote to his father 40 years ago has been getting a workout in England, as McCartney's 64th birthday approaches.

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"When I'm 64" celebrated a prosperous working class retirement in 1960s Britain. The Beatles recorded the song in 1967 on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Of course, McCartney, who turns 64 on Sunday, has had quite a different life than the one he wrote about in the song -- something that could have been predicted even in 1967. He is a billionaire, a knight of the British Empire and has no plans to retire.

As the New York Times points out, McCartney has been denied the happiness of spending his 60s with a wife of many years. His first wife, Linda, died of breast cancer in 1998, and he and his second wife, Heather, recently announced they were separating.

That was also true of his father since McCartney's own mother died young of cancer.

McCartney does have three grandchildren. But they aren't named Vera, Chuck and Dave -- as the grandkids in the song are.