Stewart wrote this song with his guitarist Jim Cregan and his keyboard player Kevin Savigar. Rod considers it one of the songs he's most proud of, telling Mojo magazine in 1995: "I love 'Forever Young,' because that was a real heartfelt song about my kids. I suddenly realized I'd missed a good five years of Sean and Kimberley's life because I was so busy touring all the time. With these kids now I don't make that mistake – I take them on tour with me, so I can watch them grow up. So that's another favourite. Unfortunately, it wasn't a big hit in England, but it's like a national anthem here (America)."
Stewart recorded a new version for his 1996 compilation If We Fall in Love Tonight.
Andy Taylor of Duran Duran produced the album with Stewart and performed the guitar solo on this song.
The song returned to the UK singles chart in 2013 after it was featured in the Tesco 2013 Christmas advertising campaign. This time it peaked at #55, improving by two places its previous chart placing of #57.
In The Office episode "Garden Party" from season 8, Andy's dad (Stephen Collins) and brother (Josh Groban" sing this as a duet. It was also used in the TV shows The Goldbergs ("Jimmy 5 Is Alive" - 2015), Glee ("Goodbye" - 2012) and in the movie Chances Are (1989).
This is also the name of a 1992 movie starring Mel Gibson and Jamie Lee Curtis. The song, however, is not used on the soundtrack.