The song was recorded with an electric band on November 14, 1962, during the sessions for The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan but was not used on that album. Instead the song, backed with “Corrina, Corrina” (a different take from the Freewheelin‘ one), a traditional blues song, appeared as Dylan’s first single, released in the United States on December 14, 1962, as Columbia 4-42656.
According to legend, Dylan wrote the song in a cab on the way to the Columbia studios for the recording session.
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
Bob Dylan recorded master versions of “Dirge” (probably) & “Forever Young” on November 14 – 1973
Bob Dylan recorded master versions of “Mixed-Up Confusion”, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” & “Kingsport Town” on November 14 – 1962
German single cover
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
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
“So, I don’t know. I think so. It’s all in the heart, whatever keeps you that way. Keeps you forever young. Forever young doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t grow old, but you just have some contact with what put you where you are. You know, keep some type of contact. Anyway…”
~Bob Dylan (to Marc Rowland in Sept. 1978)
“This song should be sung every morning by every child in every school in every country”
…….Though there was enough material to fill an album, Dylan decided to hold one more session. On the 14th, The Band was called back to record two songs. The first was another arrangement of “Forever Young,” this time with Helm on mandolin and Danko on fiddle. This new version of “Forever Young” would create the second of two master takes for the song, and both of them would be included on the album.
The second song recorded on the 14th was “Dirge” (or “Dirge For Martha” as it was marked on the tape box). “Bob went out and played the piano while we were mixing [the album]. All of a sudden, he came in and said, ‘I’d like to try ‘Dirge’ on the piano.’…We put up a tape and he said to Robbie, ‘Maybe you could play guitar on this.’ They did it once, Bob playing piano and singing, and Robbie playing acoustic guitar. The second time was the take.”
from Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid
Village Recorder Santa Monica, California 14 November 1973 6th and last Planet Waves session
Engineer: Rob Fraboni
I hate myself for lovin’ you and the weakness that it showed
You were just a painted face on a trip down Suicide Road
The stage was set, the lights went out all around the old hotel
I hate myself for lovin’ you and I’m glad the curtain fell
1-5 Bob Dylan (guitar, harmonica, vocal).
1-3 Robbie Robertson (guitar), Rick Danko (bass), Richard Manuel (drums), Garth Hudson (organ), Levon Helm (mandolin).
4, 5 Robbie Robertson (mandolin), Rick Danko (fiddle), Richard Manuel (piano), Garth Hudson (organ), Levon Helm (drums).
6 Bob Dylan (vocal, piano), Robbie Robertson (guitar).