Grow Old With Me

Album: Milk And Honey (1984)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Lennon recorded this as a home demo on a cassette tape in the late 1970s, and had planned to record it properly on the follow-up album to Double Fantasy. Unfortunately he was killed before he could record a studio version. Yoko Ono released his single-track version of this on the Milk And Honey posthumous album in 1984. Later she asked Beatles producer George Martin to score an orchestral arrangement for this to use on the 1998 Lennon Anthology set.
  • Paul McCartney wanted to make this the third Beatles "reunion song," but producer Jeff Lynne told him this would be very difficult because of a hum on the cassette that couldn't be eliminated. Also, George Harrison objected because it was too sad, given the nature of John's death - Yoko couldn't "grow old along with him," as the song urged. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ken - Louisville, KY, for above 2
  • Yoko Ono explained the origin of this song in the liner notes of her 1983 album Milk & Honey: A Heart Play: "One early morning in the summer of 1980, I woke up with 'Let Me Count The Ways' ringing in my head. I called John who was then in Bermuda and played it over the phone. 'How d'you like it?' 'I really like it. It's beautiful.' 'How about you writing one with a Robert Browning line and we'll have portraits of us as Elizabeth and Robert on the cover?'
    John called me that afternoon 'Hey, you won't believe this!' He explained that he was watching the TV, a '50s film of a baseball player. In the film, John saw the girlfriend send a poem to her baseball player, a poem which was one by Robert Browning called Grow Old Beside Me. 'Can you believe that?..so anyway, this is my version.' John proudly played his song over the phone. That's how our two songs happened."
  • This is a very romantic song that's not about blinding passion, but about caring and commitment. It's a very popular wedding song.
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter and The Postal Service recorded popular covers of this song.
  • Ringo Starr covered the romantic ballad for his 2019 solo album, What's My Name. His version features bass and backing vocals by Paul McCartney and a guitar solo by Ringo's brother-in-law, Joe Walsh. Jack Douglas, who produced Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy album, did the string arrangement.

    Speaking with the UK's BBC 6 Music radio channel, Starr revealed that he decided to record "Grow Old with Me" after Jack Douglas gave him Lennon's demo of the song, which features an unexpected message.

    Starr recalled, "At the very beginning of this CD (of demos), John says, 'Oh, that sounds like a good song for Richard Starkey. This would be great for you, Ringo.' I still well up thinking about."

Comments: 6

  • Stan from New Haven, ConnecticutI've loved John and The Beatles since 1963. Ever since my sister invited me into her room to listen to something different. An album called "Meet The Beatles." I'm still mourning the senseless murder of John. I still say, why? why a peace loving man. A Father, Husband, and friend. The Monster who took him from us should never, ever be acknowledged! And when he dies, he's not allowed to be with his loved ones, for a thousand years! I just listened to "Annie Moses" band performing "Grow Old with Me" It will bring you to tears! She did a great job with it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA3frCMWi7k
  • Paula from Laredo, TxI think that the best punishment for the creep who killed John would be for humanity never to utter or write his name in connection to John. Erase him from history! John is still here with us through his music. The actions of one man can't take that away. EVER!
  • Brad from Lexington, Ky This song makes me extremely sad every time I hear it. The poor guy sings "the best is yet to come" and "grow old with me", when his life would be over in just a few weeks. He never got a chance to grow old. That's the bitter irony of this song, as well as another one he wrote called "Life Begins At 40", when he had no idea that his life would actually end. So sad. I hope the monster of a man that killed him never gets out of prison.
  • Bmn from Hisuan, ArgentinaRegarding the hum, it wasn't on "grow old with me" but on "now and then" which has very sparse lyrics and a noisy buzz also (there's a demo floating on the net). Now and then should have been the third reworked demo, while grow old with me was maybe offered at first but declined by the threetles (who preferred a really unreleased song which was Free As A Bird).
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaIt is George, but it's comforting to know that the final moments of John Lennon's life were in comfort and peace. He had some very hard times in his life, and I'm happy for John that this wasn't one of them. R.I.P. dude.
  • George from Calumet City, IlBoth a very beautiful and very sad song at the same time.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.

Bob Daisley

Bob DaisleySongwriter Interviews

Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Here's how he wrote songs like "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Vince Clarke

Vince ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

An original member of Depeche Mode, Vince went on to form Erasure and Yaz.

Maxi Priest

Maxi PriestSongwriter Interviews

The British reggae legend tells the story of his #1 hit "Close To You," talks about his groundbreaking Shabba Ranks collaboration "Housecall," and discusses his latest project with Robin Trower.

Sam Phillips

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.

Second Wind Songs

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.