On This Day, “Forever Young” was released by Bob Dylan with backing by the Band in 1974. 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.” Its always been one of my favorites – I played it for my son at his Bar Mitzvah.
Today’s Music Minute is a truncated instrumental version, but if you’re not familiar with this song, it’s worth listening to Dylan’s version (I like the slow version) and looking up the words. It’s been covered by many artists including Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Band, Diana Ross, Johnny Cash, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, the Jerry Garcia Band, Pete Seeger, the Pretenders, Norah Johns and even Meat Loaf!