Forever Young

New MM Music Badge

This song was originally recorded by Bob Dylan with The Band in November 1973 and it appeared on his album Planet Waves. There are two different versions of this song on Planet Waves a slow and a fast version. Dylan had four children between 1966-1969, and this song is a warmhearted wish that his children would have all the best in life, from making the right choices to having the right attitude and spiritual guidance and it was intended as an uplifting message from a parent to a child. It is a hopeful song that a loved one will maintain the wonder of a youthful heart, no matter their actual age. Dylan tells his child that he wants him to reach his fullest potential, to reach the stars but not without climbing on every rung along the way. Rod Stewart recorded his ‘Forever Young’ song 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, sharing not only a similar melody but many of the same lyrics. Stewart agreed to share his royalties with Dylan.
Bob Dylan was born into the Jewish faith, but he converted to Christianity in 1979. The Golden Rule is a moral which says treat others as you would like them to treat you. It is called the golden rule because there is value in having this kind of respect and caring attitude for one another. Dylan did not invent the golden rule, however his lyrics hint at it with, “always do for others”. It has a long history and Confucius said, “Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you”. This rule is found in Leviticus, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus also said, “Do to others what you want them to do to you.” Dylan says, “May you build a ladder to the stars” and this could be a reference to Jacob’s Ladder which led to heaven and was featured in a dream that Jacob when he was running away from his brother Esau. Dylan goes on to say, “May your hands always be busy” and this might come from Chaucer who called idle hands the devil’s tools.

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

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for inspiration in any form of creative expression (including but not limited to short stories, a piece of flash fiction, poems, lyrics, artwork, photography, (etc.) that you can share with the writing community.  Alternatively, if you are a musician, and you have played this song solo or in a group, it would be awesome if you could post a video to showcase your own work.  You could write about how you learned to play the chords or how you learned the lyrics. There is no need to stick with this song, as if you like to write about another Bob Dylan or Rod Stewart song, or another song about being young, that would work.  You might also go with a song that has a spiritual message in it or that contains some words of wisdom.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  If you have children in your life, then you could write about how much they changed your life and how you became a loving parent.  What length would you not be willing to go to, to see that this little bundle of joy is loved and protected? Did you stop meeting your own needs and desires once you decided to focus entirely on the needs and desires of your child?

Dylan Hughes has next Friday, November 8 with her First Line Friday and then I will be back on Friday, November 15 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘One Way Out’.  When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire. This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, which will allow you to instantly link your post after you click the Mr. Linky Button, and then follow the directions that are given.


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