Song Lyric Sunday — Forever Young

Jim Adams is thinking long-term with this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme words: endless, eternity, everlasting, forever, infinity, and omega. The song I decided to go with is “Forever Young,” a song by Bob Dylan, recorded in November 1973. The song first appeared (in two different versions, one slow and one fast) on Dylan’s fourteenth studio album Planet Waves (1974).

I couldn’t find Dylan’s fast version on YouTube, but here’s the slow version:

Dylan had four children between 1966-1969, including his youngest Jakob, who went on to front The Wallflowers. Originally written as a lullaby for his eldest son Jesse, born in 1966, Dylan’s song relates a father’s hopes that his child will remain strong and happy. It opens with the lines, “May God bless and keep you always / May your wishes all come true,” echoing the Old Testament’s Book of Numbers, which has lines that begin: “May the Lord bless you and guard you / May the Lord make His face shed light upon you.” As I mentioned, Dylan included two versions of the song on the album, one a lullaby and the other more rock-oriented, because he didn’t want to sound too sentimental.

Here are the lyrics to Dylan’s “Forever Young”:

May God’s 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
May you stay forever young

Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
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
May you stay forever young

Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
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
May your song always be sung
And may you stay
May you stay forever young

Forever young
Forever young
May you stay
May you stay forever young

Rod Stewart recorded a song titled “Forever Young” that was released as a single and included on his 1988 album Out of Order. The song was remarkably similar to the Bob Dylan song of the same title, sharing not only a similar melody but many of the same lyrics. Stewart agreed to share his royalties with Dylan. Here’s Stewart’s “Forever Young.”

12 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Forever Young

  1. newepicauthor March 28, 2021 / 7:01 am

    This is a hopeful song that a loved one will maintain the wonder of a youthful heart, no matter their actual age. Perfect choice Fandango. The Rod Stewart song is also very good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. J-Dub March 28, 2021 / 7:30 am

    This song came to mind right away. Glad to hear it here today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie B Cee March 28, 2021 / 8:23 am

    The Rod Stewart version is one of my all-time favorites! I’d never seen that particular video though, and it fits superbly!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marleen March 28, 2021 / 9:05 am

    I’m going to show only part of the lyrics for this song by Brandi Carlile. Omega is the end in a series — or completion — is also the big o rather than the small, often denoting something spiritual or the goal. This song uses the word ladder as does Dylan’s song, above.

    We gotta dance with the devil on a river
    To beat the stream
    Call it living the dream,

    call it kicking the ladder

    They come to kick dirt in your face

    To call you weak and then displace you

    Let ’em laugh while they can

    … let ’em scatter in the wind

    I have been to the movies,
    I’ve seen how it ends
    And the joke’s on them

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Liz BlackX March 28, 2021 / 1:08 pm

    Beautiful lyrics ☺️
    And they’re so right, it’s important to stay young of mind forever 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. leigha66 April 1, 2021 / 3:59 pm

    Love the Rod Stewart song, this is the first I have heard of Dylan’s song. Thanks for another great song to learn about!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. aisasami April 3, 2021 / 10:29 am

    Great choice! Not a big Dylan fan but I love that he created this song as a lullaby for his youngest.

    Liked by 1 person

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