Bob Dylan and Neil Young surprised the crowd at their co-headlining set at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny, Ireland, on Sunday night. The two performed a live duet of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” a 1907 Christian hymn originally written by Ada R. Habershon with music by Charles H. Gabriel.
This performance is Dylan and Young’s first time sharing the stage in 25 years. They last performed together in 1994 at Roseland Ballroom in New York City.
Dylan recorded a solo version of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” in 1961 and another cover with The Band in 1967. The last time he covered it live was in 1976, at a Houston Rolling Thunder Revue concert.
Young performed the song with Dylan for the first time in 1975 at the SNACK Benefit at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.
Young has also played “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” with Willie Nelson several times throughout his career.
The song has been covered by countless artists, notably Johnny Cash, Gregg Allman, Richie Havens and Loretta Lynn, among others. The chorus of the song appears in other covers, often titled “Can the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Daddy Sang Bass.”
According to Young’s official Instagram account, Dylan and Young’s Sunday night performance was live-streamed and will be re-broadcast “on The Archives for 24 hours sometime this week.”
LIVE STREAM KILKENNY REBROADCAST 07-14-19 Ireland While the NY + POTR stream worked for many, there were still issues with some browsers and ios devices. DANG NABBIT#@*?!! We promise to get to the bottom of it and sort it out! In the meantime we’ve decided to re-broadcast the Kilkenny show for you all on The Archives for 24 hours sometime this week. Stay tuned! Thanks for listening – NYA ( p.s. – it won’t include this song… this is just a little snippet from a cell phone, peace )
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Watch the two folk legends join forces in fan-shot footage below, and find both a 1988 Dylan performance and a 1985 Young performance from the Paste archives further down.