Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Forever Young an Illustrated Song (and Young@Heart Chorus)

Posted on: December 17, 2010

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Forever Young
Words and Music by Bob Dylan
Illustrated by Paul Rogers

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joven para siepre (forever young in spanish) dylan rogers
Joven Para Siempre (Forever Young, Spanish Edition)
Words and Music by Bob Dylan
Illustrated by Paul Rogers

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December 2010

I watched the documentary Young@Heart.  It’s a wonderful film and an amazing testament to the power of music. The scene where the chorus sings at a nearby jail just after learning that their friend and fellow chorus member Bob Salvini passed away the night before is incredibly moving, infused with human spirit.

I wish there was a video for just “Forever Young,” but this trailer is a DELIGHT and shows a little clip from that scene:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjnfoFg7i7g

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A link to the Young@Heart chorus website:
http://www.youngatheartchorus.com/

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A link to the “official” website for the Young@Heart documentary:
http://www.foxsearchlight.com/youngatheart/

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Link to the Internet Movie Database page for the documentary (full cast list is found here):
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1047007/fullcredits#cast

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“Forever Young” is beloved by many and has been recorded by artists from Joan Baez to Johnny Cash.

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Here is a YouTube Simon and Schuster made for the book:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYWqNgfrdls

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“Forever Young” made its first appearance on Bob Dylan’s record, “Plant Waves” in 1974,

http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Waves-Bob-Dylan-Band/dp/B00026WUBE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292597112&sr=8-1

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FOREVER YOUNG
Words and Music by Bob Dylan
Words as Illustrated by Paul Rogers

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
When the winds of changes shift.

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.

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Addendum, December 2015
Celebrating a Sing-Along Instrumental for FOREVER YOUNG

I’ve had this on my “to do” list for a long time.  It kept staying there due to the amount of work that I knew would be involved.  FOREVER YOUNG is one of those songs for which there is no “standard.”  Even Bob Dyaln’s recordings vary from one to the other.

I had some really inadequate sheet music for it, but sent that to My Rehearsal Pianist along with a few recordings and videos of live performances that I liked this or that about and just like the magic music he always makes, he created a wonderful arrangement and instrumental track so I could sing the illustrated FOREVER YOUNG to children in their classrooms.

This has quickly become one of my very top favorites.  I hope the children like it, too.  The song is filled with joy and love, GOOD WILL and our best hopes for the future.  I told a friend that singing this song feels just like going home.

The song is such a good one, but the book tells a sweet and important story, too, about the nurturing of budding creativity and talent.  The music is passed along and a child grows up, learns, makes his own music, and then passes THAT along to the future.

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Addendum, 1/2/2016

On December 21, 2015, my husband brought home a clipping from the NY Times titles POIGNANT NOTES TO SANTA, LOST FOR A CENTURY (by Corey Kilgannon ).  It’s a wonderful story about a man who has lived for many years in a Hell’s Kitchen apartment and recently found letters hidden in his chimney since 1905.  Children who lived there were poor and made sweet requests of Santa and the man wanted to learn more about the children and their lives and what became of them.  My husband brought this home right at the same time I was making the musical arrangement for singing FOREVER YOUNG.  About halfway down the article, the author writes that the letters hold the children in time, forever young.  This captured and held me, especially as I was working on the song of the same name, but also of the same feeling.  Children in a family whose parents wanted the best for them.  A story about children with hopes and dreams and a man who found their letters over 100 years later, hoping that they would have fulfilled some of these dreams.  It’s just what the song is about.

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Addendum, 3/10/2017

2017 03 06 ELEG DCCN open mic Tracy K S 2
Thanks to Tracy Kellum Simpson for this ppicture

I’ve long been involved with the DC Cabaret Network.  It was an honor to serve on the DCCN board for a number of years, participate in many open mics, staged performances, salons, meetings, parties, classes.  It’s a wonderful thing, that DC Cabaret Network.

One of my favorite people, Stevie Cupo, and his partner are moving from DC to new adventures in the American West. Steven Cupo has a long, decorated, and fascinating resume in theater and cabaret.  He’s an exceptional performer, director, and teacher.  He is deeply loved by those who know him.  I am so lucky to call him a friend, to feel a strong connection with him, even though I never got to spend as much time with him as I wold have liked. I might have to wait for another lifetime to do that, but I will be patient.  In the mean time, a portion of my heart belongs to the wonderful man that is Steven Cupo.

The DC Cabaret Nework open mic this past Monday evening, at the Black Squirrel in Adam’s Morgan became a fond farewell celebration for Steve.  Because Sing Books has demanded so much of my energy, I’ve not gone to the open mics for a long while, but I absolutely had to crawl out of my little Sing Books bubble to join his joyous send off.

The song Forever Young seemed like just the thing.  It is absolutely one of my favorite songs, full of loving benedictions.  The pictures in the book portray the folk tradition of passing music along.  That is what Steven does with his directing and teaching. He shares his vision, his wisdom, his love of sharing song with others.  No one who has ever known him can leave his presence without being enriched by what he says, what  he does, who he is.

I also love the musical arrangement that I worked out with Paul Raiman for singing Forever Young.  This arrangement was gorgeously played for me by Jeff Hamlin.  I’d not gotten to sing with Jeff before and had heard so many great things about him. Jeff lived up to all his accolades!

I was lucky to have an extra copy of the book at home to give to Steve as a Bon Voyage gift, and burned a CD to go with it.  I also wrote a little farewell haiku as patter. At the open mic, I showed the crowd the book and asked them to sing along with the chorus.  Then I read the haiku, nodded to the wonderful Jeff at the piano, and sang the song.

Godspeed sweet, dark prince
To new, bright destinations
I will not forget you

I’ll miss you, Stevie!

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More about Steven Cupo and DC Cabaret Network, here:
For Steven Cupo: Forever Young
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/for-steven-cupo-forever-young/

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Related Posts

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BOB DYLAN
The Singable Picture Books of Bob Dylan
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/the-singable-picture-books-of-bob-dylan/

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Celebrating a Sing-Along Instrumental for FOREVER YOUNG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/celebrating-a-sing-along-instrumental-for-forever-young/

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Poignant Notes Found by Man in Hell’s Kitchen and the Children Remain Forever Young
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/01/02/poignant-notes-found-by-man-in-hells-kitchen-and-the-children-remain-forever-young/

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For Steven Cupo: Forever Young
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/for-steven-cupo-forever-young/

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