Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday morsel: "forever young"

The other day I was struck by an extreme musical contrast.

On the car radio I was listening to Avril Lavigne's latest song, "[Here's to] Never Growing Up," in which she fondly recounts the things she and her friends did in their younger days:

Call up all our friends, go hard this weekend
For no damn reason, I don't think we'll ever change
Meet you at the spot, half past ten o'clock
We don't ever stop, and we're never gonna change

Say, won't you stay forever stay
If you stay forever hey
We can stay forever young

Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs
With the boom box blaring as we're falling in love
Got a bottle of whatever, but it's getting us drunk
Singing, here's to never growing up

... and so on.

Now, I never did any of those things when I was young, so maybe that's one reason I don't share Avril's sense of nostalgia. And I know she isn't thirty yet, so maybe even as a twice-married woman she's still spending her nights that way.  But when I listen to those words they seem so empty and pointless.  Do other middle-aged people like me, with kids and houses and meals to prepare and laundry to do, really want to go back to the days when they could "go hard this weekend for no reason"?

Later the same day Jonathan wanted to listen to the Tenors' "Lead With Your Heart" CD.  (He calls it "Hat Tenors" because the cover shows one of the guys wearing a hat.)  One of the songs on the CD is Bob Dylan's "Forever Young":

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,
And 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 light surrounding you.
May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong,
And 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,
And may you stay forever young.

photo Jeannie Prinsen August 2013

I don't know about you, but for me that is a much more appealing picture of youth:  wonder, dreams, courage, joy -- all things I would hope to retain into middle age and beyond.  If that's what staying forever young can mean, it sounds good.

Here's a clip of our wonderful Canadian group, the Tenors, singing this beautiful song.


  1. Yep. I'll go with Bob Dylan on this one! Nice contrast, Jeannie.
    I like the Tenors version too. You always post good music. :-)

    1. Thanks, Adriana. Music is very important to me and I get a lot of my life lessons and inspiration from it. Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

  2. Dylan shows he's not only a better poet than whoever wrote Lavine's song, but that he understands true youth. It's not a lack of maturity but a quality of strength and character that withstands what the world throws at you. Very Isaiah 40:31.


    1. That's a great insight, Tim -- thanks!

  3. Hi Jeannie, Such a great song. First time I heard it was when the Young@Heart chorus (there's also a wonderful DVD about that seniors' choir) sang it at a prison -
    My very favourite Young@Heart performance is "Fix You" -
    Both of these songs were performed after friends in the choir had just passed away.

    1. Thanks, Franceen -- I am going to go listen to that right away!

      I first heard it when I was a teenager. I went to very few youth camps as a kid because I was too shy to go. But I did go once or twice, and at one camp weekend, one of the leaders sang this song for us. We made her sing it again 2 or 3 times that weekend b/c everyone loved it so much.

      Thanks for commenting!


Please leave a comment. I love to hear from readers, and I always reply!