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Forever Young (Bob Dylan song)

"Forever Young"
Song by Bob Dylan from the album Planet Waves
Released January 17, 1974
Format Vinyl
Recorded November 1973
Genre Rock
Length 4:57, 2:49
Label Asylum
Writer Bob Dylan
Producer Rob Fraboni
Planet Waves track listing
"Forever Young"
File:Forever Young cover.jpg
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
Format Vinyl
Genre Rock
Length 5:27
Label CBS Records
Writer(s) Bob Dylan
Producer(s) Don DeVito

"Forever Young" is a song by Bob Dylan, recorded in California in November 1973. The song first appeared (in two different versions, a slow and a fast) on Dylan's 1974 album Planet Waves.

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."

A live version of the song, recorded in Tokyo on 28 February 1978 and included on Dylan's album Bob Dylan at Budokan, was released as a European single in 1979.


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."

Rod Stewart

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.[1]

2009 Remix

In 2009 a remix of the song, "Forever Young (Continued)" was featured in a Pepsi commercial,[2] with rapper rapping a verse.[3] The advertisement ends with the slogan: "Every generation refreshes the world."

Cover versions

Joan Baez performed the song on her 1976 live album From Every Stage.

Peter, Paul, and Mary covered the song in their 1978 album Reunion.

Diana Ross covered the song on her 1984 album Swept Away.

Patti LaBelle performed the song at the Philadelphia segment of the 1985 Live Aid concert. Along with her performance of John Lennon's Imagine, these are the only two songs of her six-song set to appear on the official DVD.

The Pretenders covered the song for their 1994 album Last of the Independents.

The song was featured in the end credits to the movie Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995).

Robin Wright covered the song in the science fiction film The Congress.

The Band covered the song on the 1996 album High on the Hog.

Billy Corgan sang a cover version of the song on Bozo: 40 Years of Fun, the final episode of Chicago's long-running Bozo series.

Marcia Hines covered the song for her 2004 album Hinesight.

On October 19, 2011, Norah Jones sang the song at the open-air memorial concert for Apple Inc. founder, Steve Jobs.[4]

On his 2013 album, Love Never Fails, X Factor runner-up Jahméne Douglas performed a remix of "Forever Young".

Idina Menzel performed "Forever Young" at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.

British soul singer Jodie Marie recorded a version in 2011.

Sharon Murphy from Galway, Ireland, sang the song for her Blind Audition on The Voice UK on January 31st 2015, before opting to Join Team Tom Jones

In popular culture

In 2000 Apple used an acoustic version by Bob Dylan to promote it's iMovie product. It played over a montage of two young children, a boy and girl, in typical childhood scenes, and a final screen shot with the caption "An iMovie, directed by Dad".

The 2010 television series Parenthood uses the second version of this song, "Forever Young (Continued)" as its theme song.

"Forever Young" is one of seven Dylan songs whose lyrics were reset for soprano and piano (or orchestra) by John Corigliano for his song cycle Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan.[5]

Episode 12 of Season 1 of the television series Sons of Anarchy, opens and closes with a cover version of "Forever Young" sung by Audra Mae.

Retailer Kohl’s began running a television commercial in November 2013 for the holidays that portrays a couple decorating an elderly woman’s apartment set to a cover of Dylan’s “Forever Young.” [6]

During the August 11th edition of WWE Raw, the song played in the montage to Hulk Hogan which was shown during his birthday celebration that night.

A 2010 episode of the television show Cold Case, "The Runaway Bunny," in which the team investigates the death of a private investigator murdered in 1974, ends with this song.


  1. Goldstein, Patrick (26 June 1988). "Rod Stewart Sounds an Echo of Dylan". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  2. "Forever Young" Pepsi commercial on YouTube
  3. WTF: Bob Dylan and Will.I.Am: "Forever Young" (Pepsi ad) - Pitchfork.
  4. Wingfield, Nick (October 19, 2011). "Coldplay and Norah Jones Play at Memorial for Jobs". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2013. 
  5. Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan at
  6. “Kohl's Adds Emotional Brand Spots to Holiday Mix” by Natalie Zmuda, November 7, 2013, Ad Age,

External links