Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Band with Bob Dylan: Forever Young

Bob Dylan on a reunion tour with The Band

Lyrics by: Bob Dylan
Recorded: November 5, 6 and 9, 1973: Village Recorder in West Los Angeles, California
Released: January 17, 1974
Album: Planet Waves
Label: Asylum; Island (UK only)

This is a heartfelt and personal song of a parent to a child; the first line is a rendition of the traditional Jewish blessing that a father says to his child(en) during the Friday Shabbat (Sabbath) service. The third line is a rendition of the Golden Rule, which is common in many religions. Many critics, professional cynics, found the song sentimental and mushy. The regular people didn't agree, and the song remains popular.

Here are some more background notes from Wikipedia:
In the notes for the 2007 album titled DYLAN, Bill Flanagan had the following to say about "Forever Young":
After an eight-year break from touring, Dylan's legend was big enough to fit all twelve apostles and still have room for a couple of Buddhas. He agreed to go back on the road in 1974 with The Band, his old backup group who had become stars themselves during the down time. They got together and quickly knocked off an album, Planet Waves, that featured two versions of a blessing from a parent to a child. In the years he was away from stage Dylan had become a father. He had that in common with a good chunk of the audience. The song reflected it. Memorably recited on American TV by Howard Cosell when Muhammad Ali won the heavyweight crown for the third time.

Forever Young
By Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
May you stay forever young.