SAMCRO, Audra Mae and “Forever Young”

Well, I’ve been residing in the doghouse since last weekend’s rather lengthy moany and whingey post (now heavily edited). Nothing like experiencing the embarrassment of having put your thoughts out there in a public forum however for doghouseyou to see sense, and start counting your blessings. I have many, many things in my life to be grateful for, so in a roundabout way, that post was the kickstart I needed to reinject some positivity into my life. Apologies to those of you who found it in their inbox, as this blog is supposed to simply be where I write about, and share, “the tracks of my years” – Perhaps I need another blog for the ranty stuff, but as I already have another one which is an homage to my favourite Scottish author, it could all get a bit complicated.

Anyway, onward and upward. What have I been listening to this week? I imagine I’m not alone in finding that we are living in a bit of a golden age for television drama – What with streaming and on-demand services, as well as the mainstream channels, the discerning viewer is rarely stuck for something great to watch. I am noticing however that cinema audiences are down (around here anyway), and both our local venues have recently slashed their prices. Good news for those of us who still like the excitement of watching our films on the big screen but probably not good for the art form long-term.

This last year alone we have watched Peaky Blinders, Carnival Row, The Boys, Summer of Rockets, Years and Years, Killing Eve, Black Mirror, Chernobyl, Gentleman Jack and Les Misérables to name but a few. Seems like all I do is watch telly, but no, our habit is to finish up whatever we’re doing by 9pm, after which we reconvene in the “living room” (the least-used room in the house nowadays, so no longer a very apt name) and settle down for our nightly fix of the “goggle-box”, as it used to be called.

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This week we seemed to be all caught up with everything that had been recorded and nothing new to tickle our fancy on Netflix or elsewhere, so we decided to revisit a series we have already watched, Sons of Anarchy, which follows the lives of a close-knit, outlaw motorcycle club (SAMCRO), operating in a fictional town in Northern California. I’ve written about it around here before, as I became really fond of the theme song This Life performed by Curtis Stigers and the Forest Rangers. As I said last time, probably like most fans, I live in law-abiding “nice-world” where the worst crime I ever commit is to park illegally, or perhaps accidentally speed in a built-up area. Our modern day lives are so controlled and safe that it is sometimes necessary to experience something a bit more edgy from the other side of the tracks, albeit from the comfort of our living rooms.

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In the penultimate episode of Season 1, a particularly poignant scene was accompanied by a fine version of the song Forever Young written by Bob Dylan, and I was immediately smitten by it. The singer this time was American Audra Mae, who it seems is a great-niece of Judy Garland which might explain the fine pipes. Here is the non-acapella version of the song, but in the show the alternative version was used.

Forever Young by Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers:

Forever Young was originally recorded by Bob Dylan with The Band in November 1973 and first appeared on his album Planet Waves. Dylan had four children between 1966-1969, including his youngest Jakob, and the song was intended as an uplifting message from a parent to a child. The song has endured as one of Dylan’s classics.

As for the show Sons of Anarchy, it took me quite some time to realise that the lead character, played by Charlie Hunnam, was a graduate of British kids telly, first finding his feet on the BBC show Byker Grover along with fellow Geordies Ant & Dec! He next popped up on the award-winning Queer as Folk along with the now seemingly omnipresent Aiden Gillen. Perhaps to those across the pond his accent still has a tinge of Geordie, but he seems to have made the leap from Byker to biker very successfully. I am convinced, and as the anti-hero of the show I have become quite smitten with him, as well as the song featured above.

So, “What’s It All About?” – Again apologies for my rant last time, but hopefully now back on track (no pun intended). Having so much great telly around at the moment means that whenever we want to side-step the real world for a time, it’s right there at our fingertips, and with so many great soundtracks, always something for the discerning music-lover as well.

Until next time…

Forever Young Lyrics
(Song by Bob Dylan)

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 light 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
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

7 thoughts on “SAMCRO, Audra Mae and “Forever Young””

    1. Yes, she is actually the great-great-neice but that all sounded a bit wordy. I was going to mention the forthcoming movie Judy, as I’m looking forward to going to see it but thought it would be ironic in a post about how I think telly is taking over from film. Hopefully not but it does seem as if some of our biggest “stars” now are the lead actors in those epic tv dramas such as Game of Thrones etc.

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  1. Please please please don’t feel the need to apologise for your original unedited previous post. It was heartfelt and honest and I doubt very much there is a reader here who hasn’t felt the same way about whatever is eating them up at any one time regardless of how it compares to any others’ problems. Likewise there will not be a reader among us who doesn’t understand that just because a person sometimes expresses more negative things, that is not all there is to them – we know of course that there are many different sides to you and by the very nature of blogging we feel privileged to be allowed to see them, whatever! We all have down times and life is not perfect. (Those Facebookers and Instagrammers who try to kid everyone that they have this unreal and unblemished existence could learn a thing or two from reading the occasional much more honest and frankly far more relatable description of how we feel when things get on top of us…even if only momentarily. Plus – it’s far more interesting!)
    That Audra Mae version of Forever Young really works. I often prefer Dylan covers to originals – I think this is one of those occasions, so thanks.
    I’ve never seen Sons of Anarchy – actually to my shame there’s a lot on your list I’ve missed out on. But we’ve started having our own home ‘film’ nights recently: Saturday evening, a big glass of wine, a big bag of Twiglets, turn off the lights and catch up with something we’ve recorded or have been given a copy of in the past and never got round to. Next weekend we’re intending to watch the Leonard Cohen film that was aired recently, ‘Marianne and Leonard, Words Of Love’. Did you see it?

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    1. You are being very kind C but of course I’ve been cringing all week after my little outburst. As I said above, it definitley works as a cure for negative thoughts however and I am counting my blessings now on a daily basis. Funny how you mention Facebook etc and how everyone posts images of their perfect lives but then you meet up with them and things are anything but. I suppose that’s where blogging is different in that we are writing a web diary in effect, so we can be more honest, but there has to be a balance and mine went too far in one direction.

      As for all the great telly, it does sound as if we watch an awful lot but no than most I suspect and there have been some great series this year. As for Sons of Anarchy, not for everyone I suspect but we loved The Sopranos and it was very similar in style, only that they were bikers from California and not sharp-suited mobsters from New Jersey. No, not seen the Leonard Cohen film but I like the sound of it so thanks for the heads-up. Like the sound of the Saturday night wine and twiglets!

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  2. No apology necessary, everyone needs the right to rant now and again, to serve as an essential safety valve. Sometimes thoughts need to be expressed, either verbally or by the written word, just to help clarify what is in our minds. Either of these ways is eminently preferable to any of the other options. ‘What’s It All About’ stands out, to my mind, because it isn’t just a music blog, it is intricately woven with the beautifully-patterned threads of you and yours. That’s why we keep coming back for more ☺

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    1. Very kind of you to say so Graeme (but my shame stands) – As C above said though, our blogs are a place where we can be a lot less superficial and really put our thoughts into words, so a great place to clarify what is in our minds. Don’t think you would take the time nowadays to put in the work in a personal diary type of affair, so here is the place. Shocked me into changing my ways however, so have been on a bit of a “positivism binge” ever since, and it’s working – yeah me!

      I don’t know if you clicked on the link to my other blog in the post above, and not sure if you’ve heard of the author, but perhaps another place to visit sometime when you are on your way down the east coast?

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