Forever Young (Bob Dylan song)
|Song by Bob Dylan|
|from the album Planet Waves|
|Released||January 17, 1974|
|Recorded||November 1973, California|
German single cover
|Single by Bob Dylan|
|from the album Bob Dylan at Budokan|
|B-side||"All Along the Watchtower" & "I Want You"|
|Released||June 22, 1979|
"Forever Young" is a song by Bob Dylan, recorded in California 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).
A demo version of the song, recorded in New York City in June 1973, was included on Dylan's 1985 compilation Biograph. In the notes included with that album, Dylan is quoted as saying that he wrote "Forever Young" in Tucson, Arizona, "thinking about" one of his sons and "not wanting to be too sentimental."
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." Not wishing to sound "too sentimental", Dylan included two versions of the song on the Planet Waves album, one a lullaby and the other more rock oriented.
In notes on "Forever Young" written for the 2007 album Dylan, Bill Flanagan writes that Dylan and the Band "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."
- Bob Dylan – guitar, piano, harmonica, vocals
- Rick Danko – bass guitar
- Levon Helm – drums
- Garth Hudson – organ
- Richard Manuel – piano, drums
- Robbie Robertson – guitars
Rod Stewart version
Rod Stewart recorded a song entitled "Forever Young" that was released as a single and included on his Out of Order album in 1988. 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. His version charted at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., while it made number 57 on the UK singles chart on its release in 1988 and number 55 on re-release in 2013.
Louisa Johnson version
|Single by Louisa Johnson|
|Released||December 13, 2015|
|Louisa Johnson singles chronology|
In December 2015, Louisa Johnson, the winner of the twelfth series of The X Factor, released a cover version of "Forever Young" as her winner's single. It was released on December 13, 2015, immediately after Johnson won. Johnson performed the song live on The X Factor final. She also performed it on Text Santa. Johnson's version entered the UK Singles Chart on December 18 at number nine. The song has sold 99,648 copies in the UK as of June 2016.
|2.||"God Only Knows"|
|3.||"Let It Go"|
|4.||"Forever Young (Instrumental)"|
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||2|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||9|
|UK Download (Official Charts Company)||4|
|United Kingdom||December 13, 2015|
Other cover versions
A number of Bob Dylan’s contemporaries have recorded cover versions of "Forever Young". Joan Baez recorded the song, as a single (1974) and on her 1976 live album From Every Stage, while Peter, Paul, and Mary covered the song on their 1978 record Reunion. The Band recorded the song on their penultimate album High on the Hog, from 1996. Diana Ross covered the song in 1984 on Swept Away. Johnny Cash contributed a cover of "Forever Young" to the 1994 benefit album Red Hot + Country. The Grateful Dead performed a cover of the song with Neil Young at the Bill Graham memorial concert on November 3, 1991. It was also covered regularly by the Jerry Garcia Band and included on the album Garcia Plays Dylan. Kitty Wells also recorded the song for her 1973 album of the same title. Pete Seeger covered the song on the 2012 charity tribute to Dylan, Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
Christina Perri recorded a version in 2015 which is played at the end of the World of Color multimedia spectacle nightly at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California, as part of the Disneyland 60th Anniversary celebration.
Dylan lent his name, voice, and song as the theme to the television show Parenthood. Lucy Schwartz sang "When We Were Young" in seasons 3-6 internationally. On August 31, 2010, Arrival Records/Scion Music Group released a soundtrack for Parenthood. The soundtrack consists includes the both theme songs for Parenthood, "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan, and the international theme, "When We Were Young" by Lucy Schwartz. It also includes a cover of "Forever Young" performed by John Doe and Lucy Schwartz. Rhiannon Giddens and Iron & Wine covered "Forever Young" for the show's final episode on January 29, 2015.
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