Tony Ling blogs about Bob Dylan's music, posting a review about every song he wrote. (http://everybobdylansong.blogspot.com/ ) Since Dylan is still writing and recording, Ling's aspiration may well be a life long endeavor. Especially at the pace he's currently going (in between grad school commitments). But every entry is worth the wait, whether I agree with it or not. Today's blog is about "Forever Young", from the album Planet Waves. My favorite remark:
"Everything about the released master take, from Robertson's gentle solos to the harmonica stabs throughout and to Dylan's incredible vocal performance, maybe the greatest of his career ("Something There Is About You" is a personal favorite, but I will fully admit that this performance here blows it out of the water), is so inch-perfect that every time I listen to the track it takes all my, erm, inherent manliness to not just weep at how amazing the track is. "
Ling goes on to describe how Dylan's mastery of song writing is displayed in his ability to be both simple and meaningful with the lyrics, that the words and the execution of the song sink deeply in our hearts whether we are parents or not. It is the best Dylan song, in Ling's point of view.
And I agree. Parental love is the deepest of human loves and one of the hardest to articulate. The song goes further, though. It is about giving a child your blessing. We all long to be blessed by others, but to be verbally blessed by your father and mother is very special. But more wonderful than that, is the priviledge to give a child your blessing. In the Old Testament, the Patriarches blessed their progeny before they died. A part of themselves was continuing on even though they were passing away--because of their children and their children's children, they were forever young, too.