Melbourne singer/songwriter Michael Burrows has covered the George Harrison and Bob Dylan song ‘If Not For You’ for the teachers.
“The world turned crazy in so many ways,’ Michael says. “As musicians we had to quickly face the reality that our shows and releases like so many would have to be parked indefinitely.
“There’s some really big issues we all need to be focussing on right now without a doubt but as the children head back to school, we just wanted to get a quick thanks in to all the teachers out there who have been so amazing and been there with us through it all from the beginning.
“80% of our band are fathers and we all shared this experience of being at home and watching our children adapt to the new environment of online schooling. We were instantly impressed that teachers around the world ( many whom are not necessarily tech savvy) had to quickly pivot without any time to rest and become available to educate and keep school, moving along. They had to prepare classes, maintain the curriculum and quickly became an important part of making the students feel normal with some degree of routine.
“Teachers are amazing. They never asked for praise, they just knew they had to keep things going. We’re forever grateful. The kids are returning to school here in Victoria and other parts of Australia and the world but we didn’t want to let this moment go without saying thank you.
“ If not for you, our teachers….our children wouldn’t know where to start and finish each day.”
Bob Dylan wrote ‘If Not For You’ for his 1970 album ‘New Morning’. George Harrison played on the early Dylan take recorded on May 1, 1970. That version was scrapped and a non-George edition ended up on Dylan’s ‘New Morning’. The Harrison/Dylan collaboration would eventually be released on Dylan’s ‘The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased)’.
George liked the song and released on George’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ album.
The song was also Olivia Newton-John’s first hit. The song was the title track from her debut album. The song reached no 14 in Australia, no 7 in the UK and no 25 in the USA for Olivia.
George and Bob rehearsed the song as a duet for The Concert For Bangla Desh but didn’t end up performing it at the show. The rehearsal is from The Concert For Bangla Desh DVD released in 2005.