Perhaps it’s too late to ask my wife to “grow old with me” — since anyone under the age of 30 might say we’ve already done that. But we remain young in our togetherness — constantly trying to believe that, as blessed as our lives have been, “the best is yet to be.” And if instead, the worst is yet to come, “whatever fate decrees, we will see it through — cuz our love is true.”
John Lennon’s “Grow Old with Me,” as sung by Mary Chapin Carpenter, expresses beautifully the desire that we have to spend the rest of our lives together. (We have a verbal agreement to die at the same time — perhaps 50 years from now — so that neither of us is left alone.) Neither Lennon nor Carpenter released the song as a single, which might be surprising considering that it has apparently become popular as a wedding/relationship song. Lennon’s version was released on the “Milk and Honey” album that came out after he died.
Carpenter sang a better version of “Grow Old with Me” for a Lennon tribute album, which also included songs by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Candlebox, the Flaming Lips, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Blues Traveler, Cheap Trick, George Clinton and Collective Soul. Joanna and I have been Carpenter fans since someone gave us her album “Shooting Straight in the Dark.” (The most popular song from that album: “Down at the Twist and Shout,” featuring the Cajun band BeauSoleil, which will perform in Spokane later this month.) Our pastor recently suggested that perhaps another wonderful Carpenter song, “Why Shouldn’t We?” might be a theme song for our church.
Carpenter sang “Grow Old with Me” for a Lennon tribute album, which also included songs by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Candlebox, the Flaming Lips, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Blues Traveler, Cheap Trick, George Clinton and Collective Soul.
The song apparently originated with a Robert Browning poem titled, “Rabbi Ben Ezra” and the Elizabeth Barrett Browning sonnet titled, “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways” (which Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, turned into a song). The most-repeated line in the Lennon song is “God bless our love,” perhaps especially interesting coming from the man whose most popular song asks us to “Imagine” no heaven, no hell and “no religion, too.”
Still, I agree with the sentiment: “Spending our lives together, man and wife together … God bless our love”
“Grow Old with Me” lyrics here, with video (that includes some nice garden photos and a bit of song history) below.