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#ThrowbackThursday: “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan “Planet Waves” Asylum Records

by Sean Smith

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day, which means two things. First, it’s going to be tough to get a tee time this weekend if you’re a golfer. And secondly, department stores across the country are going to be selling a ton of ties over the next few days.

In all seriousness, I think it’s great that we as a society have set aside a day to celebrate and honor the fathers among us. I am blessed to be the father to an amazing 7-year-old daughter, Mariah. She and my wife always put a lot of effort and thought into making sure that I feel appreciated and loved when the third Sunday of June comes around each year. I love Father’s Day, not because of any gift I may receive, or because of how I am made to feel special. Instead, I love it because it is a day where I get to celebrate having the honor of being the father to the most caring, intelligent, and beautiful 7-year-old girl in the world! A gift that I am lucky enough to wake up to, not just this Sunday, but every day of my life.

Fatherhood, and motherhood for that matter, is such an awesome experience. Nothing can provide you with quite the same sense of purpose and fulfillment that parenthood can. From the moment your child enters your life, you take joy in every first, from steps to words. As they grow, you do your best to pass on lessons and morals that will make them the very best person they can be, and ultimately attempt to lay the foundation that will provide them with the best shot at being a happy and successful person. That is what parenthood is all about. So with that being said, this week we remember a song that features a father who put these sentiments into the form of a song for his children.

The legendary Bob Dylan first recorded “Forever Young” in November of 1973. He recorded two versions of the song, a slower and faster version, and both were included on his 1974 album Planet Waves. The song is an uplifting one written from the perspective of a parent talking to their child. Dylan has said that he wrote this song while thinking about one of his four boys, one of which was Jakob Dylan who went on to become the lead singer of the popular 90’s band The Wallflowers. “Forever Young” has become one of Bob Dylan’s more prominent songs, which says a lot when it is part of discography as accomplished and timeless as Dylan’s. Over the years the song has been covered by an array of artists; from folk contemporaries of Dylan’s like Joan Baez and Peter, Paul, and Mary, to other musical legends like Diana Ross and Patti Labelle. In 1988 Rod Stewart released a song with an identical title and shared some commonalities in its melody as well as its lyrics. Stewart reached out to Dylan and the two came to an agreement to share the royalties of Stewart’s version of “Forever Young”. In more recent years, Dylan’s faster version of the song served as the theme song for the popular NBC series Parenthood, which in its series finale in January of this year prominently featured  a version of the track in its poignant closing scene.

So with this weekend being Father’s Day we remember Bob Dylan’s inspirational “Forever Young”. To my loving wife and exceptional daughter, I thank you both for giving me the greatest gift imaginable in fatherhood. And from all of us here at Clizbeats, we wish all the father’s out there a wonderful Father’s Day! Enjoy.

Bob Dylan 

“Forever Young” (Slow Version)

From Planet Waves

Asylum Records

Bob Dylan 

“Forever Young” (Fast Version)

From Planet Waves

Asylum Records

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