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g-g-g-get over it

February 11, 2009

Listening to Bob Dylan tonight made me think of one place where non-religious folk need to get over it and move on with their lives.  My favorite song by him has always been "Forever Young", in no small part because it’s the theme song to the Pre documentary.  The song begins:
"May God bless and keep you always"
At which point I’m sure many non-religious types got angry or tuned out.  Now granted, the song shows an excessive worship of youth, and bows to the Protestant work ethic that it is good to be busy and a hard worker, but the song is about wishing someone well.  It’s beautiful, simple, and well worded.  Granted, Dylan probably never sang a full line without going flat at one point, but musically it’s also appealing.
I guess I’d ask non-religious people to see the line in a broader sense for what it was meant for.  Ignore it and substitute the theme of the song: "May you be safe and have good things happen to you always".

Now, I’ve never heard someone get upset about this particular song, but it’s the sort of phrase which I often hear people bitch about.  There are bigger fishes to fry, and it’s important to be able to tell the difference between them and small fry.

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,
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,
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,
May you stay forever young.

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