October 27, 2008

"Forever Young."

"Forever Young" is very, very far from my favorite Bob Dylan song, but there's a children's book based on the lyrics, with illustrations by Paul Rogers, promoted by this simple and charming video clip:

(Via Drawn!)

Is "stay forever young" a good message for children? The child sitting in the window calls to mind the first scene in "Peter Pan," and I think the message of "Peter Pan" is that you ought to see the value of growing up. The child in the video looks at the stars and sees images of adult success: astronaut, politician, folksinger. You have to grow up to do those things.

You may have noticed that the blog theme of the day is incoherence.

In the category of Bob Dylan songs about retaining a youthful spirit, I much prefer "My Back Pages" -- listen here, lyrics here:
A self-ordained professor's tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
"Equality," I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.
Now, I did not set out to make confusion about equality a theme of the day, but I can see that this post connects back to that 10:25 AM post about what Barack Obama said about the Equal Protection Clause. Just an accident. So was the incoherence theme, now that I think about it. Sometimes things fall together and sometimes they don't.


Fred4Pres said...

Sorry to go off topic, but a sad day with the loss of Dean Barnett (maybe not so off topic given his young age and tragic loss). Keep him and his family in your prayers. Dean was a good egg. RIP Dean Barnett

Barnett Celebrating his 40th Birthday

EDH said...

I think it's supposed to be about remaining young "at heart and in spirit," no matter where you go in your adult life.

You know, that etherial substance, like change you can believe in.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Fred. The idea of staying forever young feels very wrong when someone actually dies young. It's better to wish to grow old.

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, edh, I know, but do we really want childish adults?

Ann Althouse said...

I like Frank Sinatra singing "Young at Heart."

kynefski said...

Best cover of Forever Young was from The Pretenders. The slow, low lyric is a perfect match to Chrissie Hynde's voice.

ricpic said...

It takes a long time to become young.
--Pablo Picasso

Viktor Nehring said...

What Bob is getting at is to keep pushing forward, much like his earlier line "he not busy being born is busy dying".

Original George said...

It's a song sung to all people of all ages imploring that they stay young at heart and blessing them in their endeavors.

Considering that the song refers to "a ladder to the stars" and knowing Dylan's Biblical scholarship, I hear Jacob using the song to calm Esau down, saying that in some way he'll have his share, too.

(They are twins, and Jacob has twice tricked Esau, both out of his birthright as first-born and his father's dying blessing. Jacob flees Esau and at night, during a vision of angels rising and descending on a ladder, perhaps symbolizing the up and downs of life, God tells him the land will be his. Jacob appeases Esau with gifts. They reconcile.)

Played the song at my wedding reception.

May your blog always be bloggy.
May your downloads be complete
When the internet is not so swift.

Harwood said...

"... my favorite Dylan song ..."

Heh. Now there's a phrase that has never passed my lips.

Christopher said...

I think that Peter Pan is a lot more ambiguous about the value of growing up than you remember. Peter's infinite adolescence is the source of his best traits as well as his worst.

inthealley said...

Seems like a LOT of people trying to see growing up as being entirely a positive thing, but the truth is that we carry around all kinds of bits of us including bits from the past, and understanding the 'inner child' is a pretty important thing in that context. It DOESN'T mean that you can't be grown up when you need to, but it DOES mean that you are able to enjoy yourself and be creative rather than being endlessly serious. And to be serious for one moment it will be getting a hearing at MY funeral ......