How did we get so old? We have to stop and wonder 14



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Who ever thought there’d be a market for singing about getting old, retiring and finding the best bits of an older life.  Bob Dylan sang on the Letterman show about retiring, and our good old favourite Leo Sayer, famous for the anthem “You make me feel like dancing” has done it too, with the first release from his new album being “How did we get so old?”  It is a fun, light-hearted look at life from the perspective of the 66 year old rocker in the flavour of Monti Python’s “Always look on the Bright Side of life”.

And it resonates here an awful lot.  He’s singing about how he woke up one day and suddenly decided he was a little older than he thought.  My dad, now 68 years old was inthralled by how darned true the song is for him and so many of his friends.  Not old in life or living, he says to me “Leo Sayer’s got it just right”.

“It’s like we woke up and suddenly we’re old!” my father said.

But Leo Sayer is not sad about it at all.

“I’m loving being in my 60’s. It’s such fun! Kids think you’re smart, people open doors for you, you get your own dedicated car spaces, get charged less for things. But I’m still a child in my mind, and sometimes I get so disappointed when I look in the mirror, thinking surely that guy can’t be me? I wonder how did I get to here, where do all those years go?”

So that’s what the song is about.  And it is  just one piece of an incredible career highlighted by the sale of 80 million albums… Yes you heard right!  80 million albums.

Listen to the song on iTunes here:

Or watch a short clip on it below.  And tell us what you think… Do you sometimes wonder “How did you get so old?”

How did we get so old?

booklet d3 copy

I’m entertained by the lyrics, below.

She is my Mona Lisa

I am her Charlie Chan

We live a life so easy

Doing the least we can

I thought by now that time would

Have taken all it’s grisly toll

So how did we get so old?

She says I drive too slowly

But I’ve got the hammer down

We’re off to see the young ones

Dressed up like circus clowns

They’ll probably ignore us

They’ll be so hot

We’ll be so cold

Oh how did we get so old?

Outside it’s Palm Tree morning

Under the bluest sky

We’re living free from worry

Chasing our cares goodbye

(solo with whistling)

This is our anniversary

But we’re young at heart

So we’ve been told

How did we get so old…

Park in a senior’s car space

Go see a movie on the cheap

We’re high as kites for taking

A thousand pills a week

Wisdom’s a great salvation

Hindsight is worth a pot of gold

How did we get so old?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I now fully understand my grandmothers words when She was the age I am now, I used to say to her, when her arthritis got her down, it’s not that bad Nan, I am so sorry Nan, you knew I’d develop the family curse.. I now understand…. But I still keep active and push myself to the limit and then some..

  2. I lloved the song Rebecca and I am like your Dad, I love Leo. He is one of the few also, that don’t forget Tassie when touring around. 🙂

  3. I would like to know how should we feel when we age, I know I certainly dont feel old, I still do jobs round the house (moving furniture, changing light bulbs, cleaning, etc etc.

    2 REPLY
    • I am 74 and I don’t think old but when I have to kneel down and then get up, I feel old, when I walk up a flight of stairs, I feel old, when I look in the mirror I feel old, I walk a lot and do exercise, but that evening I feel old, but my glass is not half empty, I am healthy and I still love doing things, like smelling the roses

    • Me too, Vivienne, still up ladders cleaning gutters etc., but I was told by my doctor when I turned 70 to put my ladder on ebay – well, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him!

  4. When I get older losing my hair
    Many years from now
    Will you still be sending me a valentine
    Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
    If I’d been out till quarter to three
    Would you lock the door?
    Will you still need me, will you still feed me
    When I’m sixty-four

  5. And this is the really important thing…we are all growing older (I refuse to say I am growing old…there is a big difference!) but we don’t have to be OLD! Inside, I am still young & have been told to act my age at times. It’s fun to be & act child-like…shove your inhibitions out the window, enjoy life, even if you are a bit slower than you used to was!

  6. My kids used to go around singing Leo’s song…..You Make Me Feel Like Dancin….all day. So, no one is old, unless you feel old.

  7. Every time I see a reflection of myself! I think ” who the hell is that?” Time passes so quickly! Suddenly all those things your parents said start to have real meaning!!

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