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Boomer Anthems: “Forever Young” (Now in the two generation edition)

First generation edition:

And then there was the earlier song by Bob Dylan which was strikingly similar:

 Rod Stewart Sounds an Echo of Dylan What is striking about the song isn’t just Stewart’s impassioned delivery, but the song’s resemblance to an earlier “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan, long one of Stewart’s favorite songwriters. What makes this mystery even more intriguing is that while Stewart receives sole songwriting credit, the song’s publishing credit is shared by Stewart and Special Rider Music, one of Dylan’s publishing companies.

So what gives? “The song is very much Rod’s song,” explained his manager, Arnold Stiefel. “It came about after a long, very touching conversation he had with his 6-year-old son last year. There was this great empathy between them, which I think really moved Rod. And as he remembers it, he saw a film in England around the same time called ‘Forever Young,’ which is where the title came from.

“However, when we were putting the album together, someone pointed out that there was a Dylan song with the same title. So we listened to the two songs. And it would be fair to say that while the melody and the music is not at all the same, the idea of the song is similar. The architecture of the lyrics of the song is very much from Dylan–there are definite similarities.”

Saying he was concerned, Stiefel immediately sent the song to Dylan, asking whether he had a problem with the song. “We didn’t hear back from Bob directly, but his attorney relayed the message that he had no problem with the song, but that he did want to participate in the ownership of the song.”

Stewart Version
May the good Lord be with you
Down every road you roam

And may sunshine and happiness
Surround you when you’re far from home

And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true

And do unto others
As you’d have done to you

Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you’ll always stay

Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young

May good fortune be with you
May your guiding light be strong

Build a stairway to heaven
With a prince or a vagabond

And may you never love in vain
And in my heart you will remain

Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young

Forever Young, Forever Young

And when you finally fly away
I’ll be hoping that I served you well

For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell

But whatever road you choose
I’m right behind you, win or lose

Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young ,Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young

For, Forever Young, Forever Young

Dylan version

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
Forever young, 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
Forever young, 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
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Larry Geiger March 9, 2019, 7:54 AM

    Oh no. Not Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan. Neither one of them should have ever been allowed on a stage. Ok to write songs maybe, but perform? Who puts these people up there? Good grief.

  • MMinLamesa March 10, 2019, 8:56 AM

    @Larry Geiger

    Man, I’m glad you’re not my neighbor

  • Lance de Boyle March 10, 2019, 2:06 PM
  • Larry Geiger March 10, 2019, 2:44 PM

    I’m a good neighbor. You’d like me, most likely. Though maybe not my digital music collection 🙂 There’s no Dylan or Stewart performances in there, though I think that there are one or two Dylan songs performed by others. Others who can actually sing…
    I’d never heard of Bob Dylan. I suppose that by 1971 I had heard one or two of his songs somewhere, but I really had no idea who he was. I listened to FM oldies mostly plus a bunch of other stuff (Chopin, Handel, Chet Atkins, Boston Pops, Temps, 4Tops, Association, Gary Puckett, etc). I arrived in Gainesville, FL on the third floor of Simpson Hall.
    We were issued a key and my mom and dad and I carried my stuff up to my room. There were those dorm room closets on each side of the door, two beds against the wall and two desks down by the windows on each side. My mom started poking around and noticed two articles of clothing in one of the closets. So we assumed that the other side was mine. We unpacked my stuff, hung up my pants and shirts in my closet, made the bed, and set my stuff out on my desk. Home sweet home.
    Thus began three of the most tormented weeks of my life. My “room mate” played Bob Dylan 24/7 (when he was there and not out smoking stuff). I came to totally despise “Like a Rolling Stone” and almost all other Dylan. To this day I cringe whenever it comes on somewhere. I try to hide.
    It turned out that he heard that fall semester at UF was the place to be for weed and girls. Come December he left and never returned. Good riddance.
    After three weeks I finally hollered at enough housing people to get moved to more normal circumstances. After that I did fine.
    The rest of my life has been 50 years of trying to avoid all things Dylan.

  • Vanderleun March 10, 2019, 3:33 PM

    The next few days will be a time of high-energy dodgeball then. Duck and come back to the klubhaus for a free beverage after.

  • Vanderleun March 10, 2019, 3:34 PM

    And a tip of the top hat to lance for his fine pointers.

  • Larry Geiger March 12, 2019, 5:49 AM

    I’m sorry. I’ll not bring it up again.

  • Vanderleun March 12, 2019, 8:44 AM

    No no Larry, by no means. Bring up anything at any time. I utterly understand why many cannot abide Dylan and his voice. Okay by me.