“Like Young” by André Previn
The lyrics of “Like Young” are, as expected, a celebration of youth. More specifically this is an ode to young love, or rather the type of romance that has the narrator “feeling like young”. And it features a distinct storyline whereas said vocalist is recounting his or her romance (depending on the singer’s gender) with the addressee.
And if you’re looking for a song with lyrics that can double as indoctrination in the type of slang that was dominant during the late-1950s and early-1960s, this is it. But what all of the lingo ultimately points to is a timeless notion, i.e. a man being smitten by a woman.
And concerning the title, it would appear that the youthfulness the vocalist perceives in the addressee also makes him ‘feel like young’. And to make a long story short, they do in fact end up joyfully hooking up and setting off into the sunset together, or “riding a rainbow to Cloudsville” as the vocalist puts it.
Overall what this singer is doing is celebrating this special relationship that s/he has the pleasure of enjoying with this youthful person they have fallen for.
Facts about “Like Young”
The more famous edition of Like Young is actually an instrumental written by André Previn. That is the version of the song which won Best Performance by an Orchestra during the 2nd Annual Grammy Awards, which were held in 1959. And that particular rendition was performed by the orchestra of David Rose (1910-1990), with Rose being a multi-faceted musician from London.
Meanwhile André Previn had an interesting personal history, with his family having migrated from Germany (Berlin) to France (Paris) and then the United States (Los Angeles) during the World War II era. And once settling in California, he began working for MGM in 1946.
Previn went on to win 10 Grammy Awards throughout his lifetime and, being a composer as well as conductor in that latter regard helmed some of the most celebrated orchestras in the world, such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic.
Previn’s “Like Young” also appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959.
There is also a version of this song that features lyrics and has been covered by singers such as Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) and Buddy Greco (1926-2017). Those lyrics were written by Paul Francis Webster (1907-1984), one of the most-successful songwriters of the 1950s and 60s.
Who is Kerouac?
On this song the vocalist namedrops one “Kerouac”, whom he notices the addressee “reads” and accordingly makes her “like young”.
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was a novelist who is considered one of the best in his profession from the 20th century. During the 1950s he was new on the literary scene but apparently, as implied by the song, was popular amongst youth.
And later in the decade especially, as in when “Like Young” was released, he made a name for himself with a book entitled On the Road (1957). The said work is considered one of the best reflections of the youth movements of that day, such as the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the countercultural phenomenon of the 1960s, which defined that particular decade.
And even though the novel was derided by many critics when it first came out, Time magazine for instance placed it on their “All-Time 100 Novels” list in 2005.